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Choose sacrifice over salary, soldiers told

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The Chief of Defense Forces has told soldiers that sacrifice is more important than salary, a message that has attracted criticism from some members of the general public.

A foot soldier receives roughly 1,800 pounds or $6 per month. However, such an amount is not paid regularly.

With the economic crisis and high market prices, observers say this amount cannot cover basic needs of a soldier and his wife and children.

Speaking at the Presidential Palace in Juba on Independence Day, General Gabriel Jok Riak said:

“When you become a soldier, it means you must be the first to sacrifice for your nation and sacrifice means a lot. And it’s diverse in many forms. No salary is one of them.”

Gen Jok is one of the political and military leaders in South Sudan on the UN Security Council sanction list for their roles in the conflict.

As commander of the then SPLA Sector One, Jok was sanctioned by the UN in 2015 for perpetuating violence and breaching ceasefire agreements in the defunct Unity State.

He was also named by the Sentry as one of the Profiteers of the violence.

Bank records reviewed by The Sentry indicate that Gen. Jok Riak received large financial transfers totaling at least $367,000 to his personal bank account at Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) from February to December 2014 alone—sums that dwarf his official annual salary of about $35,000.92, wrote the Sentry in September 2016.

“When you are patriotic, it means you have sacrificed everything including your children and your life,” he said.

“But we are not denying them their rights…. The country has been rocked by a lot of issues and problems: political, economic and security.”

Where is this money going?

Some members of the public have expressed disappointment in the army chief for telling soldiers to choose sacrifice over salary.

Source: EyeRadio

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