South Sudan has joined the ranks of neighbouring countries in the region by elevating its national army to a more professional force and walking away from its liberationist and rebel outfit image.
The new formal name is South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF) and this brings an end to Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).
The SPLA was founded as a guerrilla movement against the government of Sudan in 1983 and was a key participant of the Second Sudanese Civil War.
The SPLA has previously been estimated to be composed of more than 210,000 soldiers, with paramilitary forces of an estimated 19,100.
SPLA goes down in the books as one of the liberation armies that have achieved their target. This rebel force was founded by Gen.John Garang (late), Salva Kiir Mayardit (current President of South Sudan).
President Salva Kiir who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the South Sudanese army issued a decree to formally transit into a professional force.
The presidential decree read on the official TV station provided that the decision comes in line with the resolutions of the SPLA Command Council Conference.
The SPLA’s change de name intervenes ten days before the start of the implementation of the revitalized security arrangements which include the reunification of the national army before the end of the transitional period.