South Sudan Reforms: Restructuring The National Army






AUGUST 28, 2014


  1. Restructuring the SPLM/SPLA and the GRSS (SPLA) forces

1.1.1. All irregular forces shall be regularized.

1.1.2. The SPLM/SPLA and GRSS (SPLA) forces shall be restructured and shall have a new command structure. The forces shall be drawn from the ranks and files of the SPLM/SPLA, the GRSS (SPLA) forces, as well as from civilians.

1.1.3. The SPLM/SPLA shall constitute 60%, GRSS 30% and 10% shall be recruits from the population of South Sudan.

1.1.4. The restructured army shall be called South Sudan Armed Forces herein abbreviated “SSAF”.

1.2. Doctrine of SSAF

1.2.1. Subordination to democratic and civil control;

1.2.2. Non-Partisan

1.2.3. Respect the fundamental rights, obligations and dignity of all its members.

1.2.4. Uphold and respect the rights, dignity and diversity of the people of South Sudan.

1.2.5. Respect and protect the Constitution of the Federal Republic of South Sudan.

1.3. Principles

In executing its mission and functions, the SSAF shall adhere to the following principles:-

1.3.1. perform its functions in accordance with the provisions of the Peace Agreement, the Transitional Federal Constitution and international law regulating the use of force;

1.3.2. promote the highest standard of professionalism and discipline within its rank and file;

1.3.3. reflect the ethnic diversity and national character of the people of South Sudan; and


  1. 1 Constitution of the SSAF

2.1.1. There shall be constituted in South Sudan armed forces to be known as the “South Sudan Armed Forces” herein after abbreviated “SSAF”.

2.1.2. Members of the SSAF shall be South Sudanese who satisfy the conditions and qualify for recruitment and without discrimination on grounds of gender, religion or ethnicity.


2.1.3. The SSAF shall be a disciplined, regular, professional, patriotic, productive, non-partisan military force subordinate to civilian authority as established under the Transitional Federal Constitution of South Sudan

2.2 Mission of the SSAF

The mission of the SSAF, in addition to its other national duties, shall be to:-

2.2.1. protect the Peace Agreement;

2.2.2. defend the Transitional Federal Constitution of the Federal Republic of South Sudan;

2.2.3. protect the people of South Sudan;

2.2.4. secure the territorial integrity of South Sudan;

2.2.5. undertake responsibility for the defense of South Sudan against external threats and aggressions; and

2.2.6. Involve in addressing specific emergencies, participate in reconstruction activities, and assist in disaster relief whenever directed by the TFGONU, this agreement and any other law in force in South Sudan.

2.3. Functions and Roles of the SSAF during the Transitional Period

Functions and Roles of the SSAF shall be to:-

2.3.1. Serve as the national Armed Forces of South Sudan

2.3.2. Coordinate with defense forces in the region on security issues; and

2.3.3. Participate in peacekeeping missions.

2.4. Structures of the SSAF

2.4.1. The South Sudan Armed Forces shall be organized into: an active force, and a reserve force.

2.4.2. The active force shall not exceed ten (10) divisions and each division shall not exceed 14,000 strong men and women. The active force shall consist of:- the ground force 136,510 men and women; the air force 5,000 men and women; and The Riverine 5,000 men and women.

2.4.3. The active force shall be organized into divisions down to brigades, battalions, companies, platoons and squads, organized into combat units, combat support and service


support units and shall be under the direct command and control of such officers as may be assigned by the appropriate authority.

2.4.4. The reserve force shall not exceed 50,000;

2.5. Composition of the Active Force

The active force shall consist of:-

2.5.1. Officers commissioned by the President and Commander-in-Chief ; and

2.5.2. Non-commissioned officers enrolled in accordance with this agreement.

2.6. Reserve Force

The reserve force shall be drawn from the National Service.


  1. Command and Control

3.1.1. Command and control of the SSAF shall be vested in the President and Commander-in-Chief;

3.1.2. The President and Commander-in-Chief shall commission, promote, retire or dismiss officers of the SSAF in accordance with the provisions of the law.

3.2. Functions and Powers of the Commander-in-Chief

The President in his or her capacity as Commander–in-Chief of the SSAF shall, in consultation with the Command Council, exercise the following powers:-

3.2.1. determine the political and military objectives of SSAF;

3.2.2. issue political and executive directives to the Secretary of Defense;

3.2.3. appoint the Chief of General Staff in accordance to law;

3.2.4. issue military orders to the Chief of General Staff;

3.2.5. appoint Deputies to the Chief of General Staff, directors of branches, armed service division commanders in accordance to law;

3.2.6. commission officers, and in particular, grant promotion in accordance to law;

3.2.7. convene General Court Martial when appropriate;

3.2.8. commute sentences and pardon officers and other ranks sentenced by courts martial; and

3.2.9. Declare a general mobilization and take appropriate measures or request the declaration of the state of emergency in the Country in accordance with the Transitional Federal Constitution.


3.3. The Command Council

3.3.1. There shall be established a consultative body to be known as the Command Council.

3.3.2. The Command Council shall consist of the Chief of General Staff, Deputies of the Chief of General Staff, and Directors of branches, armed services and division commanders.

3.3.3. The Command Council shall advise on the following:- the SSAF military strategy; review of the organization and structure of SSAF; programs to enhance operational matters; and SSAF requirements.

3.3.4. The Command Council shall have a secretariat located in SSAF General Headquarters.

3.4. Functions, Powers and Duties of the Secretary of Defense

3.4.1. The Secretary of Defense shall be a non-uniformed person assisted by an Under Secretary.

3.4.2. The Secretary shall:- organize the Department of Defense in accordance with the directives of TFGONU and the Commander -in-Chief; periodically produce strategic management guidelines which establish key planning priorities for resource allocation against an agreed time-frame; responsible for the preparation and management of SSAF budget, to meet the requirements of SSAF in accordance with the Government financial rules and procurement regulations; responsible for the development and management of military industries; promote democratic civil-military relations; ensure transparency and accountability in the overall activities of SSAF; responsible for representation of SSAF internally and externally under the directives of FRSS; and Coordinate disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programs and efforts within SSAF and with other government and international institutions and work for their speedy implementation.

3.5. Functions, Powers and Duties of the Chief of General Staff

The Chief of General Staff shall be responsible for:-

3.5.1. Preparation of SSAF military strategy and programs on the directives of the Command Council to organize and modernize SSAF to ensure its ability to carry out its mission;

3.5.2. Organization of SSAF forces into combat units, combat support and service support units and staff;

3.5.3. Determination of personnel, military equipment and material requirements; in consultation with his or her Staff Command.


3.5.4. Recruitment, training and education of military personnel and management of their assignments and careers;

3.5.5. Development of operational plans, deployment of forces and command;

3.5.6. Ensuring the sustenance of operational units through the distribution, management and maintenance of military equipment, hardware, material and facilities;

3.5.7. Enhancing the morale and welfare of SSAF personnel;

3.5.8. Ensuring the combat readiness of SSAF;

3.5.9. Recommend to the Commander-in-Chief of officers for commissioning and promotion in accordance with the law, established regulations and procedures governing promotions;

3.5.10. Convening a General Court Martial when appropriate;

3.5.11. Development of the necessary military rules, regulations and standing operating procedures for the purpose of effective and efficient management of the forces;

3.5.12. Recommend appointment of the staff branch Directors to the Commander -in-Chief, in accordance to law;

3.5.13. Assignment of senior officers to various SSAF divisions, brigades, battalions and specialized units as shall be directed by the Commander-in-Chief; – Development and supervision of research and development capabilities; Determination of the number and the quality of civilian employees required to serve in SSAF and submission of the same to the Secretary for approval and appointment in accordance to civil service law; and Any other function as shall be delegated to him or her by the President and Commander-in-Chief, and the Secretary.

3.6. Functions, Powers and Duties of the Deputies of the Chief of General Staff

3.6.1. The Deputies of the Chief of General Staff shall:- assist the Chief of General Staff in preparing and executing strategic plans, coordinating and supervising the activities in their respective areas of responsibilities; and Prepare briefings and submit regular reports on their activities to the Chief of General Staff.

3.6.2. The Deputies of the Chief of General Staff shall have clearly defined functions, powers, duties and responsibilities.


4.1 Enrolment into the Military Service

Enrolment into SSAF military service shall be voluntary, except where the Transitional Federal Legislature, on the recommendation of the President, decides or deems it otherwise.

4.2. Recruitment Authority and Procedure

4.2.1. Authority to recruit cadets and enlisted personnel into SSAF shall be vested in SSAF Command Council.


4.2.2. Every person who is interested or willing to be recruited in SSAF shall fulfill the conditions set out in section 18.2 below.

4.2.3. Recruitment shall be carried out by the office of the Deputy Chief of General Staff for Administration.

4.2.4. Recruitment shall be representative, widely publicized and carried out in accordance with the rules and procedures as prescribed by law and regulations in all the 21 states of South Sudan.

4.3. Eligibility for Enrolment

A person shall be eligible for enrolment into SSAF if he or she satisfies the following conditions:-

4.3.1. Is a South Sudanese;

4.3.2. Has attained eighteen years of age.

4.3.3. Has not exceeded thirty years;

4.3.4. Has passed medical fitness exams;

4.3.5. Has no criminal record;

4.3.6. Has attained basic education in the case of enlisted personnel and not less than secondary education in the case of officer cadets; and

4.3.7. In case of general mobilization, the provisions of sub-sections (3) and (6) above, shall not apply.

4.4. Recruitment of Officer Cadets

Officer Cadets shall be recruited from:-

4.4.1. Secondary school certificate holders and other equivalent qualifications or higher; and

4.4.2. Among SSAF non-commissioned officers and enlisted personnel who meet the requirements in section 18.2 above.

4.5. Commissioning

4.5.1. Officer Cadets shall be commissioned as officers in SSAF upon completion of the requisite military training.

4.5.2. The President and Commander-in-Chief may grant to such person as he or she deems fit, a commission as an officer in SSAF in accordance with the rules and regulation governing commissioning.

4.5.3. An officer cadet on commissioning shall take oath of allegiance in a prescribed form before the Commander-in-Chief.

4.6. Military Training

4.6.1. All recruits into SSAF shall receive basic military training before assignment into service.


4.6.2. Enlisted personnel shall take an oath of allegiance upon completion of their basic military training.

4.6.3. SSAF personnel shall receive specialized military training in various areas relevant to the service.

4.6.4. SSAF shall organize higher level military training programs (Platoon Commanders Course, Company Commanders’ Course, BN commanders’ course, Staff College, etc) inside and outside South Sudan in order to enhance the military capability of SSAF.

4.7. Period of Service.

4.7.1. There shall be a minimum period of obligatory service in SSAF categorized as follows:- officers after commissioning shall serve for twelve (12) years; enlisted personnel after basic military training for six (6) years; and where SSAF personnel is willing to serve additional period and SSAF General Headquarters so agrees, the period of service may be extended, without exceeding the prescribed retirement age.

4.7.2. The period of service beyond the minimum obligatory service may be extended under the following circumstances:- During period of national emergency, in which case SSAF personnel concerned may be retained, and his or her service may be prolonged for such further period not exceeding twelve months, or as may be decided by SSAF Command Council; and Where SSAF General Headquarters and the relevant SSAF personnel mutually agree to extend the obligatory period of service by reason of the said personnel acquiring an advanced specialized training.

4.8. SSAF personnel shall be retired when that person reaches the following age limit:-

4.8.1. Private to Sergeant forty seven (47) years;

4.8.2. Sergeant Major to Regimental Sergeant Major, at fifty (50) years;

4.8.3. Second Lieutenant to Captain, at fifty two (52) years;

4.8.4. Major to Colonel, at fifty (50) years; and

4.8.5. Brigadier and higher, at sixty (60) years.

4.9. SSAF General Headquarters may, under special circumstances, extend the age of retirement specified above, for a period not exceeding two (2) years.

4.10. Assignment, Transfer and Secondment

4.10.1. Assignment, transfer and secondment in SSAF shall be guided by the following considerations:- need of service and the objectives of SSAF, military occupational specialty and career path; level of experience; and

9 Assignment appropriate to the rank.

4.10.2. Any SSAF personnel is obliged and under duty to accept assignment, transfer and secondment to render any service, inside and outside South Sudan, as the case may be, in accordance with the provisions of this agreement and any regulations in force.

4.11. Entitlements

4.11.1. SSAF personnel shall be paid a salary based on the TFGONU approved salary structure appropriate for each rank.

4.11.2. SSAF personnel shall be entitled to retirement benefits in accordance with SSAF pension’s law.

4.11.3. The TFGONU shall provide SSAF personnel with:- Subsidized essential commodities; Military uniform and other quarter master items; Health care services; Camp accommodation; and Annual leave, sick leave, maternity leave of 30-90 days and any other leaves prescribed by regulations. Educational benefits Life Insurance

4.12. Promotion and Military Ranks The following military ranks shall be instituted in SSAF:- Marshal; General (Gen.); Lieutenant General (Lt. Gen.); Major General (Maj. Gen.); Brigadier (Brig.); Colonel (Col.); Lieutenant Colonel (Lt. Col.); Major (Maj.); Captain (Capt.); First Lieutenant (1st Lt.); Second Lieutenant (2nd Lt.) Non-Commission Officers Regimental Sergeant Major (R/SM); Sergeant Major (SM); Sergeant (Sgt.); Corporal (Cpl.);

10 Lance Corporal (L/Cpl.); and Private (Pvt.)

4.12.2. Promotion from a lower to a higher rank shall be based on:- Availability of vacant positions; Fulfillment of the required waiting time in rank; Satisfactory performance report; Above and beyond exceptional performance; Fulfillment of the required training and courses; and Fulfillment of any other condition as shall be prescribed by SSAF General Headquarters.

4.12.3. There shall be established at the levels of SSAF General Headquarters, division, brigade, battalion and equivalent staff and specialized unit levels;

4.12.4. There shall be established a Promotion Board whose task shall be to evaluate and recommend appropriate candidates for promotion.

4.12.5. The Promotion Boards shall be chaired by the Deputy Chief of General Staff for Administration, deputy commanders at the divisional, brigade and battalion levels. (non-commissioned officers at division level);

4.12.6. Meritorious promotion shall be given in recognition of outstanding performance in the battle field.

4.12.7. The authority to promote officers shall be carried out according to section 18.11.2 of this agreement, and the authority to promote other ranks shall be prescribed by the General Headquarters.

4.12.8. There shall be developed regulations to govern the system and procedure of promotions in SSAF.

4.13. Termination of Service

4.13.1. The service of a SSAF personnel shall cease and terminate upon:- reaching the required retirement age; expiration of the contract of service; acceptance of resignation; conviction by court martial for offences that necessitate termination of service; mental and physical unfitness; right-sizing and restructuring of SSAF ; incompetence in the performance of regular duties; absence without leave for a period exceeding thirty days; and Death.


4.13.2. SSAF personnel whose service ceased or is terminated shall be given a discharge certificate upon handing over all properties, materials and documents issued to him or her during his or her service.


  1. Employment of Civilians

A civilian may be employed in SSAF where:-

5.2.1. SSAF does not have an appropriately qualified and, or adequately experienced military personnel to fill a vacancy in the establishment;

5.2.2. SSAF deems it necessary to employ a civilian to improve its efficiency; and

5.2.3. SSAF recruitment may be gender sensitive.

5.3. Number and Qualifications of Civilian Employees

5.4. The number and qualifications of civilian employees required to be employed in SSAF, shall be determined by the Secretary of Defense on the recommendation of the Chief of General Staff.

5.5. Appointment of civilian employees shall be subject to the following considerations:-

5.5.1. Availability of a vacancy in the establishment of SSAF and the need to fill that vacancy;

5.5.2. Availability of funds for the remuneration and entitlements of the civilian to be employed; and

5.5.3. Such other considerations as SSAF Command Council may determine.

5.6. Manner of Employment

5.6.1. Civilian employees who work in the SSAF shall be employed and governed in accordance with Public Service law, Rules and Regulations.

5.6.2. Without prejudice to the provisions of sub-section (1) above, SSAF may, by contract, employ services of internal or external experts and any other personnel when necessary and the relationship between the parties shall be governed by the terms and conditions of the contract.


  1. Military Barracks and Facilities

6.2. The Department of Defense shall be located in the National capital of the Federal Republic of South Sudan. The General Head Quarters of the Armed Forces shall be located 30-45 kilometers outside the Federal Capital;

6.3. All military barracks and facilities shall be located outside any major town not less than 30 kilometers from any town;

6.4. The TFGONU shall provide housing for all military personnel assigned to any military facility outside his/her place of usual residence; and


6.5. Basic services such as health, education, sanitation, clean water, etc. shall be provided on the military base for immediate family members of service personnel.


  1. Compulsory Military Service

7.2. There shall be established compulsory military service for all male citizens from eighteen (18) to thirty (30) years of age.

7.3. Those who are engaged in higher education or vocational training programs prior to their military drafting are allowed to delay service until they have completed the programs or reach a certain age.

7.4. The duration of the basic military service varies:

7.4.1. For those without 4-year university degrees, twenty four (24) months as a private after completion of basic training;

7.4.2. For those with 4-year university degrees or higher either twenty four (24) months as reserve officer or twelve (12) months as a private after completion of basic training.

SPLM/SPLA© 2014 2

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