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JUBA CITY - 23 Nov 2023

Red Army Foundation honors three SPLM members with certificates of appreciation

Bak Barnaba Chol (R), Peter Lam Both (C), and James Aleah Garang (L) at the function where they received awards from the Red Army Foundation. (Photo: Radio Tamazuj)
Bak Barnaba Chol (R), Peter Lam Both (C), and James Aleah Garang (L) at the function where they received awards from the Red Army Foundation. (Photo: Radio Tamazuj)

Members of the Red Army Foundation (RAF) on Wednesday awarded certificates of appreciation to three SPLM officials who were recently appointed to key government positions in the economic sector and leadership of the party.

Those awarded the certificates of recognition were Peter Lam Both, Secretary General of the SPLM party, Bak Barnaba Chol Bak, Minister of Finance and Planning, and Dr. James Aleah Garang, the Governor of Central Bank respectively.

Speaking at the occasion, Deborah Chiditgam, the Acting Chairperson of the Red Army Foundation, said the move was to recognize the efforts of the awardees and to call them to work well.

She urged the two economists to work in unison to stabilize the country’s flailing economy.

“My message to you is that unity is the only tool that can make us prosper. As you have seen here, all these people represent the 64 tribes of South Sudan. And this represents the old days of the liberation,” she advised. “To Comrade James, I want to see this issue of dollar rate solved. Always stand for the truth.”

Chiditgam also challenged the finance ministers and central bank governor not to shy away from instituting necessary and bold reforms.

For his part, SPLM Secretary General Peter Lam Both commended the RAF for honoring them.

“We thank you for recognizing us and we welcome it with humility and appreciation. It means a lot to be recognized by our own comrades who struggled with us. The three of us are in important positions so go back and thank the members of the RAF for us,” he said. “I think the message to us here is that you recognize our appointments but also what are we going to do in the positions. What have we done in the short time in office? And this is a challenge.”

“So we have to perform well so that the masses can say the party brought young people who have performed well,” Lam added.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Bak Barnaba Bak welcomed the award and said it demonstrated the unity and oneness that existed during the liberation struggle. He encouraged the RAF to remain united to fight vices like corruption, tribalism, and poverty in South Sudan.

“I want to say the liberation struggle is not over and we are still fighting,” he stated. “The Arabs are gone and we might not have physical enemies but there is corruption, tribalism, selfishness, and poverty.”  

The minister further disclosed that his ministry and the central bank have come up with strategies to tame the dollar exchange rate and economic reforms which will be disclosed to the public at a later date.

Central Bank Governor James Alic Garang said it is very important for the RAF members to note that as the war is over there is now a need for development.

“Now that the war is over, the next phase is development,” he asserted. “And development needs unity, unity of ideas and unity of consensus but not looking at tribal lines.”