The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) has built an army that can protect the boundaries of southern Sudan if secession takes place.
Southern Sudan is expected to hold a referendum next year to determine whether it remains as part of Sudan or it secedes and become an independent state. Currently it enjoys a semi autonomous status.
The spokesperson of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), Major General Kuol Dim Kuol, said during a state function in Juba Tuesday that Southern Sudan has “a strong army”.
“SPLA has formed a nucleus air force and navy. Our pilots and engineers have been trained and local support and administrative units will follow suit.”
Kuol confirmed that the training provided has been a considerable achievement for the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement.
He also said that the SPLA will ensure there will not be any militias in southern Sudan once the SPLA is able to fulfill security and secure the north-south border and all other boundaries.
The SPLA was founded in 1983. First led by John Garang, it fought Khartoum government forces for over 20 years.
In 2005, the warring parties signed a comprehensive peace agreement (CPA) in which they agreed that a referendum will be held next year.