South Sudan army to undergo name change
The military command of the South Sudanese army, the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), has passed a resolution changing the name of the revolutionary army to South Sudan People's Defense Forces (SSPDF).
Army Deputy Spokesman, Santo Domic told Xinhua that the resolution was reached during a three-day military command conference that concluded on Thursday.
"It has been recommended that the SPLA name has to be changed to South Sudan People's Defense Forces and we will continue to use the SPLA name until the SPLA Act of 2009 is amended," Domic said in Juba on Friday.
Domic said the military command also passed other 70 resolutions that call for transformation of the army through capacity building, establishment of pension scheme, adoption of new policies to govern promotion of army officers, among others.
He said the reforms are necessary in order to transform the SPLA into a professional army.
"One of the reason as to why the SPLA needs to be professional is because we started as revolutionary army that was fighting for the independence of South Sudan and after the independence, we need to reach a certain standard of being professional like any other army in the region," Domic added.
The SPLA army is mostly composed of former rebel forces that fought against Sudan for over two decades leading to the split of South Sudan from Sudan in July 2011.
A senior military official said last week that efforts to transform the revolutionary army into a conventional force have been affected by the civil war that erupted in 2013.