The spokesperson of South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF) has said the army leadership is working to improve its relations with the public.
Major-General Lul Ruai told Eye Radio’s Dawn Show presenter, Emmanuel Joseph Akile on Wednesday, this is by ensuring the army becomes friendlier to the civilians.
In August this year, the Commander-in-Chief of the South Sudan armed forces warned the then SPLA soldiers against looting of civilian property and relief items across the country.
President Salva Kiir also issued similar warnings in several occasions in the recent pa
In September last year, he accused the organised forces of committing crimes in the country.
He said the leadership has come across complaints about harassment of civilians by some soldiers.
Kiir said the forces have been seen looting and destroying property openly while in uniform.
“Yes, the issue of harassment has come to our attention in the past and that’s why when we re-branded we said one of the ways is to improve on our public relations with the civil population”, Major-General Lul Ruai admitted.
He said the leadership is working to building the SSPDF to become civilians-sensitive.
“We had promised to be more cautious in handling them, to be more sensitive in the way we approach them, and to be mindful about our language and tone, and facial expression.”
However, Lul Ruai said achieving this will take along a process and requires patience from the citizens.
“It is going to be a process. We felt that there is need for us to change our attitudes towards our local population and we just require some time from the people of South Sudan.”
Lul Ruai said training the army is an essential part of the transformation.
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