Handed over Ammunition Store to the Government
NPA humanitarian Disarmament South Sudan has handed over three constructed ammunition stores to SPLA. The primary objective of the stores has been to mitigating the risk of unplanned explosions through the application of the principles contained in the International Ammunition Technical Guidelines (IATG). Prior to this the ammunition was badly stored and was under great risk of catching fire during the dry season.
The ceremony on the 12th of December 2014 at Mile 4 in Yei, was attended by several SPLA high ranking officials from the Military Headquarters in Juba, which includes; Major Mou Mou Arol commander for SPLA artillery Base at mile 4 in Yei, Brig Gen. Obieny George Kulang CDR In charge for SPLA Artillery Unit, Brig. Gen Paul Samuel commander in charge for sector three, Brig gen Atier Benjamin Biil representative on behalf of the deputy chief of gen. staff for operation and administration, Ramba Joseph Meiko representative from the UNMAS sub-office Yei. Staff from NPA includes; Damir Jaksic NPA HD DPM, Batali Gabriel Modi Operations Manager, Sam Onyango NPA HD security/Liaison officer and NPA MTT1. The occasion was marked as an extraordinary day by the representative from the SPLA gen. Head Quarters Juba.
n an opening speech by NPA HD operation manager Mr. Batali Gabriel thank Major Mou Mou Arol the CDR of the base and brig. Gen. Obieny George the in charge of the SPLA Artillery unit, for cooperating, coordinating and remained fully committed with NPA HD management and staff throughout the project activities. This project started on the 30th of October 2014 by private construction company which was selected by NPA to construct the three (3) stores. According to Batali, ammunition sorting and segregation started on the 1st of September 2014 by NPA HD multitasking team MTT1, he said 95% of NPA HD staff are Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA) fighters from the combat engineering unit who have been successfully disengaged and have remained in gainful employment for between three and ten years. Owing to the alignment of the workforce, they are well trained staff in humanitarian demining, ammunition handling, destruction and stockpile management majorly focuses on humanitarian operations, NPA HD has enjoyed a high level of trust with the SPLA. This project was funded by Norwegian ministry of foreign affairs (NMFA). Furthermore, the primary objective of this project was centered on mitigating the risk of a UEMS (Unplanned Explosion at Munitions Site) through the application of the principles contained in the International Ammunition Technical Guidelines (IATG), He said. Mr. Batali Gabriel thank Norwegian ministry of foreign affairs for funding this important project.
In a separate statement by NPA HD Deputy Programme manager Mr. Damir Jaksic said, he personally understand this kind of work because he came from a country (Croatia) which was faced with similar problems of post war situations like South Sudan, Mr. Damir thank the Brigadiers and Major Mou Mou and all those who participated in the work in one way or another.
Major Mou Mou thank Norwegian people’s Aid in general and that he remain happy for what they (NPA) have done, according to him those ammunitions were there since 1997 and in bad condition, he said the ammunitions were stores under cover of grass thatched local roof Tukuls mixed and unsecured, were exposed, the risk of catching fire during the dry season was ominously increased by then, very dangerous to the lives of the surrounding population even to our soldiers around here. Major Mou Mou reiterated that the SPLA don’t have any fear for NPA because what NPA was doing and continue doing is very tremendous and tangible that can easily be realized he said.
Brigadier Gen. Obieny acknowledged that, SPLA have more trust on Norwegian People’s Aid and they send sincere heard felt gratitude from the SPLA gen. deputy chief of general staff for operations, he request Norwegian People’s Aid Humanitarian Disarmament friends to lobby for some funds to do the same to other stores having similar situations, those for example at Moli, even our HQ in Juba and Sherikat stores are at high risk. He said that SPLA leadership will fully support NPA operations in this kind of work which is very substantial for the security of the South Sudan population. I Obieny give especial thanks to NPA for building the capacity of our personal employed and the soldiers who we been trained on basic ammunition handling and management in this short period.
In 2013 NPA South Sudan initiated its first formal Physical Security and Stockpile Management (PSSM) project in partnership with the UNMPAS and the SPLA. The project resulted in extensive physical upgrades to two ammunition storage areas (ASA) in Lainya and Yei counties of Central Equatoria as well as the training of eight SPLA storemen in the safe storage of ammunition. According to NPA HD concept report in February 2014, NPA HD has received a number of requests for similar assistance from commanders in Central Equitoria. Other reconnaissance visits conducted jointly with NPA HD and SPLA indicated that some of the facilities, for instant in Moli, SPLA HQ, and Sherikat were at high risk of an Uncontrolled Explosion in Ammunition Store (UEMS) remains a high humanitarian primacy.