‘There will be no huge celebration on SPLA Day,’ says the SPLA.
The South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) have announced that there would be no large celebrations to commemorate Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) Day on Monday, May 16th.
South Sudan celebrates SPLA Day on May 16 each year to commemorate the establishment of the then-rebel organization in 1983.
On May 16, 1983, a group of Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) mutineers opened fire on a barracks in Bor, forming the basis of the SPLA. Colonel John Garang de Mabior was ordered to put down the uprising but ended up leading it.
According to Gen. Lul Ruai Koang, the SSPDF spokesman, in an interview released by Radio Tamazuj, there would be no national ceremonies to honor the day, but the population may observe it from their various locations.
“We will not conduct public rallies or travel to stadiums to rejoice; instead, we will celebrate in our individual locations.” “Everyone has been asked to commemorate the 16th of May at home or in their individual locations,” he stated.
When asked why, he said that there was no plan to commemorate the day.
“The leadership did not tell us what to do.” “We had not received any direction from the political authorities on whether it will be commemorated as of Friday,” Gen. Ruai stated. “So, the decision taken by the Chief of Defence Forces is that all of us will commemorate it in our separate areas in any way we see appropriate.”
When asked whether the festivities were canceled owing to financial concerns, Gen. Ruai replied that it was simply due to a lack of leadership guidance on the topic.
“The 16th of May is a very significant and unique day, but we were just not informed that it would be observed,” he stated.
Regarding the SSPDF officers’ and men’s low and delayed pay, he said that wages were paid on time.
“I respectfully disagree with you that we are not paid salary. “We are compensated, but it’s not much,” Gen. Ruai said. “Some of the difficulties are due to the obstacles that we are having, but with the execution of the peace accord, we are putting our house in order and will overcome some of the challenges that we are now facing.”