Skip to main content
Bor - 28 Sep 2022

Unified forces graduation in Bor: Defense minister calls for patriotism

Unified forces in Bor, Jonglei State graduate on 27 September 2022. [Photo: Radio Tamazuj]
Unified forces in Bor, Jonglei State graduate on 27 September 2022. [Photo: Radio Tamazuj]

South Sudan’s defense minister, Angelina Teny, has called on about 1, 701 unified forces who graduated in the Jonglei State capital, Bor, on Tuesday to be patriotic to the country.
Minister Angelina while speaking during the graduation ceremony Tuesday urged the unified forces to be loyal to the country, emphasizing that the graduation will convince holdout groups that the 2018 peace deal is on a right track. 

“Today is a victory day for the graduating forces,” Angelina said. “It was not easy over the past three years. You had gone through a lot of challenges like lack of food and mistrust. So, you are born of a soldier this country deserves; a soldier that will deter whoever wishes to challenge us to think twice. You are the unified forces, you signal the beginning of a national army for our country.”
The defense minister also called on the graduates to be ready for deployment.
“Our Commander-In-Chief Gen. Kiir will confirm your ranks. After that, you will be unified as one army as you see in the command structure and then you will be deployed. To be professional, there must be a good relationship with a citizen whose dignity you are protecting and respect the foreigners. Because after we are done transforming the security sector, we want to see you deployed for peacekeeping missions abroad.” 

Maj. Gen. Charles Machieng Kuol, the Joint Defence Board’s head of secretariat and South Sudan Opposition Alliance’s representative, advised the unified forces to shun tribalism and work to defend the country’s constitution. 

For her part, Geetha Pious, the UNMISS head for the Bor field office, lauded the graduation and called for the deployment of the unified forces to deter inter-communal violence in Jonglei state and the Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA). 

“We believe today’s graduation opens the possibility of security deployment of the police and army to curtail the cattle raiding and related communal violence. Of course, it will require continued commitment by the transitional government to fund security sector reform,” she said.    

According to the 2018 revitalized peace deal, South Sudan is supposed to train and graduate a unified force of 83,000 personnel to take charge of security during the transitional period until 2023, when elections are held.

So far, over 25,000 unified forces mainly from the Equatoria region graduated and are waiting for deployment.