Catholic Priest Cautions South Sudan’s First Unified Troops against Extra Judicial Killing

The first batch of the unified armed forces. Credit: Courtesy Photo

A member of the Clergy of South Sudan’s Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio (CDTY) has cautioned the first unified troops who graduated on August 30 against extra judicial killing. 

On August 30, South Sudan graduated over 21,000 new troops that are to constitute a unified national army, police, and other forces of security as part of the implementation of the country’s September 2018 Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS).

In a Thursday, September 1 interview with ACI Africa, Fr. Dominic Sasa said the people of God in Africa's youngest nation want to see members of the armed forces exercise professionalism by protecting the lives of civilians.

“We want to see these troops work for the protection of civilians and not to begin killing each other again because they are trained for protection.” Fr. Sasa said, and added, “The graduation of the forces is the way that calls for the total unity we have been looking for because no political party will protect this country.”

“Our forces are now unified and this is of great strength for South Sudan,” Fr. Sasa said, adding that “this unity has to bring total peace and stability in this beloved country.”


According to the September 2018 R-ARCSS, South Sudan is supposed to train and graduate a unified force of 83,000 personnel to take charge of security during the transitional period until 2023 when elections are to be held.

The 21,973 security agents who graduated on August 30 included 3,308 VIP protection forces, 4,366 police forces, 6,315 national security services, 1,120 prison services, 3,575 wildlife services, and 3,289 civil defense forces.

Speaking during the graduation ceremony that took place at Dr. John Garang Mausoleum in Juba, Archbishop Stephen Ameyu Martin said the first batch of unified forces need to do their work to protect the people of South Sudan.

“We pray that they do their work with honor and integrity,” Archbishop Ameyu said during the August 30 event that was presided over by the President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir.

In the September 1 interview with ACI Africa, Fr. Sasa praised political leaders in South Sudan for respecting the terms of the R-ARCSS agreement.

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“By graduating the forces our leaders are now demonstrating the peace process they have struggled to implement,” the Parish Priest of Our Lady of Fatima Maridi Parish of CDTY told ACI Africa.

The South Sudanese Catholic Priest added, “Let’s continue to encourage one another to embrace the peace process that the country has started.”

“I would like to congratulate the graduates because we are looking at them as one defense force who are coming to protect the lives of the people of South Sudan,” Fr. Sasa said.

The unified troops, he said, “are to help their people and to love them because they are being protected by the army.”

Members of the trained unified troops need to foster patriotism, which has the benefit of getting people closer to them in “good relations”, Fr. Sasa said.


“They should create good relations with the civilians which will create a conducive environment for the two sides to love each other because they are graduated to do service to others, not going against the law,” the South Sudanese Priest said in reference to members of South Sudan’s first unified troops.