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South Sudanese army name not changed, government clarifies

South Sudanese army name not changed, government clarifies

South Sudan

South Sudanese government says the name of the army has not changed after it was restructured by President Salva Kiir on Monday.

Presidential spokesperson Ateny Wek said in a statement on Tuesday that the army’s name Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) has not changed to South Sudan Defense Forces (SSDF) as widely reported.

“The acronym of SPLA still stands as the name of the South Sudanese Army,” local media Sudan Tribune quoted a portion of the statement.

In a presidential decree read out on state television President Kiir restructured the army into three services headed by their respective commanders – Ground force, Air force and Air Defense and Riverine units.

The acronym of SPLA still stands as the name of the South Sudanese Army.

He also created a hierarchy in the army led by himself as the Commander-in-chief, followed by the Defense Minister in that order.

The change is in line with the resolutions of the fifth SPLA Command Council Conference in June 2016 that reviewed the defense structure, the decree added.

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