Red Army Foundation severe ties with South Sudan ruling party


File photo shows members of Red Army Foundation

By Simon Deng

The Red Army Foundation, a group of former child-soldiers in South Sudan who fought alongside the rebel army Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) during the long war of independence against Sudan have cut ties with the party.

The Red Army accuses the SPLM headed by President Salva Kiir in the coalition government of sidelining them from decision making process within the party.

“The Red Army Foundation and its political wing with the SPLM, the SPLM Red Army League have been compelled to consider suspending activities with the SPLM,” said Deng Bol Aruei chairman for the Red Army Foundation in statement in Juba on Monday.

He said they have for long been sidelined by SPLM national secretariat.

Aruei revealed that they regret to inform their members and the people of South Sudan of their decision to suspend all programs and activities with the SPLM national secretariat.

“The Red Army Community and its leadership shall maintain this position until the grievances are resolved, which if not properly addressed shall compel the Red Army to subsequently make major announcement within a short period on a way forward,” said Aruei.

Santo Malek, SPLM Deputy Secretary for Political Affairs, Mobilization and Organization when asked about this development said the matter is before the SPLM political desk.

“This is an individual who has a lot of issues, he has been complaining that their people are not meeting the SPLM we met last week on Friday and we talked to him (Aruei),” said Malek.

“He has submitted to us some document I will present the document to my leaders and then you will get official communication,” he added.

The Red Army Foundation was last year embroiled in internal conflict among it’s top leadership.  

Aruei was accused by his rival Gabriel Thiep of running the organization’s affairs after having overstayed his term in office.

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