Gov’t agrees to SPLM-IO request for a VIP protection force equal to army division
June 18th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan government has agreed to a request by the main armed opposition group, SPLM-IO, led by First Vice-President designate Dr. Riek Machar to increase the number of the VIP protection unit to something equal to an army division, army spokesman, General Lul Ruai, said.
In South Sudan, an army infantry division is made up of over 12,000 strong men.
In March, the parties to South Sudan’s revitalized peace deal agreed to the establishment of a VIP protection of about 700 men who would be divided fifty-fifty between the government – on one side – the SPLM-IO and South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) on the other side.
However, few days later, SPLM-IO spokesman in Juba said his group wants a VIP unit of about 12,000 saying the 700-men force is not adequate for the protection of the presidency and other prominent members of the would-be government.
“They [SPLA-IO] were proposing a division, we have no problem with that and the leadership said alright we will work on forming a division to be trained,” army spokesperson, General Lul Ruai Koang said