South Sudan President, Salva Kiir Mayardiit, has, on Tuesday night, issued a republican order and renamed the country’s army, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) as South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF).
The order was read out on the state-owned South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC) on Tuesday night.
SPLA has been a guerrilla military wing of the SPLM which led a 21 years insurgency against the successive Arab governments in Khartoum making the war the longest in the continent. The war led to a peace deal in January 2005 leading to independence in July 2011.
It was founded in 1983 by Dr. John Garang de’Mabior.
Last week, President Salva Kiir promised the army that he will change the name in the near future as per the SPLA six command conference.
“SPLA will be South Sudan People Defense Force, and we will implement that, and I will issue a decree so that general Jok implement that,” Kiir said. adding that “The SPLA leaders conference that we held last time in Bilpam decided that, since we have got our independence, we should change our name from Sudan People Liberation Army or Sudan People Liberation Movement because we have separated from Sudan.”