News / Africa

South Sudan Army Spokesman Says Desertion is 'Normal'

Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) soldiers walk along a road in Mathiang near Bor, Jan. 31, 2014.
Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) soldiers walk along a road in Mathiang near Bor, Jan. 31, 2014.
Philip Aleu
A spokesman for the South Sudan army, the SPLA, dismissed reports that thousands of soldiers have abandoned their posts in Jonglei state, saying the number was much smaller and "desertion is normal" in modern armies.

“We don’t know ... the exact number (who have deserted) but that is not a new thing," Colonel Philip Aguer told South Sudan in Focus.

"You ask the modern army whether they know desertion. It is something which is normal," Aguer said.

Aguer said the soldiers who did leave their posts might have been protesting at not getting paid, but he insisted the soldiers' salaries were on the way.

"Salaries were late but they are sent. The situation is being handled and an investigation is taking place to find out what happened," he said.

Earlier this month, civil servants in Central Equatoria state said they had not received their salaries since February, and in March, scores of South Sudanese soldiers, who were wounded in the fighting between pro- and anti-government forces, blocked a major road in Juba to protest what they said were several months of unpaid wages.
You ask the modern army whether they know desertion. It is something which is normal.


Opposition military spokesman Lul Ruai Koang said anti-government forces have moved into areas that have been deserted by government troops, to prevent a potentially dangerous security vacuum forming in the already volatile areas.

"Once we have a security vacuum, chances of having some criminals causing trouble in those areas are very high and that is why our forces have moved in... so that lawlessness and disorder do not reign," Koang said.

The rebel spokesman said government troops and the Ugandan army have abandoned Gadiang, Poktap and Wernyol and were heading towards the Jonglei state capital, Bor. Aguer, meanwhile, said the SPLA was still in control of Gadiang. It was impossible to verify the situation on the ground with independent sources.

You May Like

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
June 17, 2014 10:24 PM
is not alow

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid