“The Red Army Foundation Needs Full Recognition and Inclusion Into SPLM party structures”,-Deborah Chiditgam
Deborah Chiditgam Agok, the acting chairperson of South Sudan Red Army Foundation has called upon the government to include the foundation in the decision and policy-making of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) party.
In a statement read by the Red Army Foundation secretary-general on Tuesday during the commemoration of SPLA Day, marked every 16 May as a national public holiday, in Juba, Chiditgam said they need full recognition and inclusion in the SPLM party structures so that they play a patriotic role and equally participate in nation building, instill nationalism and patriotism in the minds of the contemporary generations and generations to come adding that the Red Army Foundation and the SPLM Red Army League are national veterans.
Further still, the Foundation tasked the government to develop a policy for compensating and pensioning veterans and their offspring.
“We are taking this opportunity to call upon our leaders to consider the following; develop a comprehensive policy for compensation, care, and pensioning of our veterans and their offspring,” she said. “Many veterans are dying in the villages without knowledge. They made great sacrifices for this country so let us plan for them so that they leave the world with happiness.”
Meanwhile, SPLM Secretary General Peter Lam Both said the SPLM party and Red Army Foundation will meet to discuss the matter.
“SPLM cannot do anything without Red Army League or Red Army Foundation and nobody in SPLM will say he does not want SPLM League or SPLM Foundation and because of this, I want to say to Secretariat of Political Affairs that we need to sit down with members of Red Army Foundation so that we can know their objectives,” he said.
It is worth noting that In the early 1980s, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) recruited and began training boys and girls as young as 12 to fight in the liberation struggle. The child soldiers were called the Red Army or Jesh Ahmer. Many of them were carted to Cuba for education while others ended up in refugee camps where they acquired education. Others were eventually resettled West-mostly in the USA, Canada, and Australia.