BY RED TIMES ON
MAY 25, 2016, South Sudan’s Vice President, James Wani Igga, has told forces of the Tiger Battalion which are redeployed around the national capital, Juba, to stay alert and be ready for any eventualities.
Igga, in his speech broadcasted on the state-owned South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC) on Monday evening, made the warning to the troops of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) of President Salva Kiir’s faction when he visited them on Monday near Nesitu, east of Juba.
The third powerful politician in the war-ravaged nation who is an ally to President Kiir during the two years of the civil war that ended in August 2015, told the forces to always be on alert like members of an ethnic group, the Kachipo, who he said allegedly wash one eye at a time in order for the other eye to see what was going on.
“Comrades, you should always wash your face like the Kachipo. The Kachipo do not cover both eyes like we do when washing our faces. They first wash one eye while using the other one to see and guard against any attacker around them,” Vice President Igga told the forces who responded by singing war songs in Dinka language.
Also, the newly appointed presidential adviser on Military Affairs, General Daniel Awet Akot, who accompanied the Vice President to the military base, congratulated the Tiger Division for a “job well done” in fighting the war against the opposition faction of the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO) led by the current First Vice President, Riek Machar.
The presidential guards reportedly are recruited in Bahr el Ghazal region by the current chief of general staff, Paul Malong Awan, when he was governor of Northern Bahr el Ghazal state.
The Vice President also told the forces to stem out tribalism among them and promote reconciliation.
It was not clear why the senior government politicians visited the forces around Juba and urged for readiness.