News / Africa

South Sudan Free to Purchase Weapons Says Army Spokesman

SPLA spokesman Philip Aguer, shown here at a briefing in March 2012, says South Sudanese Army soldiers have killed more than two dozen members of David Yau Yau's rebel group. (AP)
SPLA spokesman Philip Aguer, shown here at a briefing in March 2012, says South Sudanese Army soldiers have killed more than two dozen members of David Yau Yau's rebel group. (AP)
Peter Clottey
The spokesman for South Sudan’s national army says President Salva Kiir’s government has no restrictions to purchase weapons from its international partners to protect lives and property as enshrined in the country’s constitution.

Colonel Philip Aguer says the army will protect unarmed civilians in the country’s conflict to enable officials of the government to continue with peace negotiations with the rebels to resolve the crisis.

“The government is capable of interacting with any political entity in the world including Egypt.  But the procurement is the business of the government so wherever they get the weapons should not be an accusation,” said Aguer.  “The government is capable of getting weapons from anywhere.  There [are] no restrictions on the government of South Sudan on where to buy and where to get weapons.”

His comments came after rebels allied to former vice president Riek Machar accused neighboring Egypt of providing military support to the government in Juba.  They contend that Egypt’s military support could regionalize the conflict and exacerbate the crisis.

The rebels say the government in Juba appears to be disinterested in the ongoing peace negotiations to resolve the conflict by seeking military support from Egypt.  But Aguer disagreed.

“The government is entitled to protect and provide the security of the citizens and the integrity of the republic of South Sudan,” said Aguer.  “It is when the rebels get weapons when it should be questioned because the rebels have no legal mandate to get weapons elsewhere.  However, we have not talked about weapons their sources of weapons.  We know they are dealing with some [people] around the region.”

Aguer declined to name the entities he says supply weapons to the rebels.  He admits, however that the rebels could get their arms supply from the black market.

But the rebels say the government lacks goodwill in the peace negotiations by seeking military support to combat allies of the former vice president.

Aguer disagreed.  He says the national army needs the supply of weapons to carry out its duties.

“The duty and constitutional responsibility of the army is to provide protection to the integrity of South Sudan to the people and their property.  If we need weapons to do that constitutional mandate then we do that while the government negotiates political settlement,” said Aguer.  “We are sure the conflict is a political issue that was taken very far.  The politicians should have resolved the political problem away from violence.”

Some South Sudanese have called for more targeted sanctions on both sides of the conflict following President Barack Obama’s recent executive order that paved the way for U.S. sanctions on anyone threatening the stability of South Sudan, as well as those committing human-rights abuses.

Aguer says the army is not to blame for the country’s crisis. 

“The rebels have rejected the cessation of hostilities and they have continued attacking Malakal attacking Duke County with the interest to capture the oil fields [and] that is direct rejection of peace,” said Aguer.  “Why do you look for other people that are obstructing peace if somebody announcing that they are not for cessation of hostilities?”                                                       
Aguer says the government is committed to the peace talks as the army continues to protect civilians from rebel attacks.
Clottey Interview with Col. Philip Aguer, South Sudan Army Spokeperson
Clottey Interview with Col. Philip Aguer, South Sudan Army Spokepersoni
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by: jimmy wan from: Juba
April 16, 2014 2:08 PM
Thanks and tribute to the S P LM a lot for all the stand against the wide army rebels towards the attempted coup SPLM is the ruling part for christ seek how possible is it to be intimidated by a rebel on how to procure weapons of defending the country during such insecurities in the country caused by fear Sudan's if he has points of defend why cant they accept the peace talks and settle issues at once than putting on treats on a ruling power.

by: Deng Luak from: from Malakal
April 16, 2014 12:04 PM
I dont there will be money to purchases the weapons any ways. I quer dont understand that we cannot purchase the weapons too. That would be scaring tactic and I dont it will work at this times.

by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
April 14, 2014 12:56 AM
Please, for the sake of our LORD, do not purchase any weapons of mass destruction. African children, women and innocent civilians do not deserve to be killed with chemical weapons.
Just have a look what's happening in Syria.

May God bless and protect the people of South Sudan.
In Response

by: Arbow Herow from: Kenya
April 15, 2014 3:49 AM
Good point!

by: David from: U.S.
April 13, 2014 7:28 PM
Mr. Aguer: can only tells the truth when he force to. All of these politicians do not understand why the country is call country. They have no patriotic fashion for home country and the people. All they care for is their own interest and leadership. How would not care about the people whose you to be leader? America should deliver more sanction on these ignorant leaders.

by: wnyin from: canada
April 13, 2014 6:59 PM
South Sudanese are tired of trying to explain that the rebels, led by Riek Machar, were and are still the one who wrought mass murders since Dec 15, 2013. It clearly shows, as many wise individuals know, there is some fishy thing going on. With Satalites, on ground spies, and so forth, though it denies any knowledge of the happening in South Sudan,rush for sanctions USA, shown a clear intentions to changing the current regime in South Sudan, without any attention to the outcomes, so that their policies aren't compromised. South Sudan's government isn't USA's enemy. I hope they don't make the same mistake as they were in cahoots [With Arabs] throughout their failed attempts to destroy the Jews State, from 1948 - 1973. And maybe today as it is shown from the quick respond to any European or Arabs crises, in contrast to their lack of good will to safe innocence lives in Africa. You've just lost friends forever. Had a single condamnation went forth out of USA's mouth, it could've spared more than 10,000, since the start of this failed coup in Dec 15, 2013.

by: Nyakor from: USA
April 13, 2014 5:30 PM
I wish you, Aguer and your friend Kiir would have sympathy, if not I hope you find a way to have it. You don't realize what you are doing now, even people who are still alive live as if they were dead, because you affected their lives very strongly. The statement that you made , "the govt doesn't have restriction to buy guns anywhere so that they could protect the citizens" is false and dumb. There are no civilians that are being saved from your killings. The only good people now that are helping and protecting the citizens is The UN. The little bit of life that the citizens have under the UN is not your will at all, if you had a chance to get them, you would just eat them alive- you and your friend Kiir. Put this in your mind, your friend Kiir paid you enough, God only gives bad people a chance the first time, use the name of govt in anyway that you want to use it while you are on the top of the world, it is just a matter of time. Use it while you are there in that moment. Don't forget to remind one another how your brothers who did the same things as you are doing now, Saddam Hussein, Hitler, Osama, Mussolini, Pol Pot, and Idid Amin- none of these people are with us now. On a farm, if you have a very crazy cow with dangerous horns, the owner cuts the horns off in order to protect other people's lives. Put it in your minds that your horns will be cut off soon, I don't know by who, but God knows because what you have done is enough. God Bless

by: John from: USA
April 13, 2014 4:24 PM
"the government is entitled to protect and provide the security of the citizens and the integrity of the republic of south sudan, said aguer.

Philip contradicted himself on this interview. Is there any protection in Juba? Or did Philip meant protecting Dinka in Juba? People are fighting now because their relatives were killed like fishes in Juba by the same government that is contradicting itself in the media. Who killed Nuer civilians in December 15-19, 2013 and now still going on? The government is killing Nuer people where rebel leader belongs. WIth Kir still sitting as the president some of you like Philip will be shot soon on the head.
In Response

by: william from: south sudan
April 14, 2014 10:41 AM
I am wonder, how you people thinking about this crises. my word to all of you is like this : who ever or had come to s Sudan from the beginning to source of dispute ? those of nyakor or what ever you called your self, second to it is : why don't America overthrown Barack ? derisions comments, I hate you. you are were the one supporting Riak with every thing just to kill so that his will be written in history of south Sudan. may God judged it . I hope even kangaroo court can not charge Kiir with any

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