Let’s now reward the sacrifice, patience of the forces

Let’s now reward the sacrifice, patience of the forces
Some of the forces line up during the announcement of the deployment ceremony in Juba. [Photo: courtesy]

Wednesday, November 15, 2023, marked yet another important day on South Sudan’s calendar after 750 unified forces were deployed to Malakal, Upper Nile State.

Luri Training Centre once again hosted the high-profile government officials who had come to grace the country’s significant event, which will set the pace for the implementation of the chapter on security. Government officials, ranging from the national cabinet ministers to the other top officials directly involved in the country’s security, took to the podium in turns to give their blessings to the departing forces.

The Chief of Defence Forces of the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF) and Veteran Affairs, Gen. Santino Deng, a man charged with leading the country’s military, once again preached against tribalism.

“The forces must implement military orders and also adhere to mutual respect among themselves,” Gen. Santino said as he addressed the forces.

“As of today, you are the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces; there is no one affiliated with other political parties as it was before. The mission of the army is to protect the land and the people, and from today on, the army has nothing to do with politics. There is no army affiliated with the party; the army is for the state,” he added.

After the event came the reality check. Men and women in uniform loaded their belongings into trucks, ready to move to the riverside to take their respective vessels to the Upper Nile. Pictures from the graduation that littered several Facebook timelines showed even women with young and vulnerable children honouring the duty to serve the nation.

One officer had her child wrapped around her back as she clung to the truck while in full military fatigue. The pictures of the faces of the soldiers beamed both joy and anxiety.

They were happy to have made it to the deployment face but also anxious for life after the deployment. Looking critically at the forces, one could tell that they love their country—South Sudan. In addition, anyone who has been following the events would say that the unified forces who graduated last year have given their lives for service.

Some, if not all, may have waited for a penny for eternity, but in the face of this, they have remained faithful.

Hence, it is prudent for the government to reward the faith of these officers through prompt payment of salaries and ensuring that they live comfortably. They should have a better life as they serve their country and reflect on the sacrifices they gave and continue to give.