In Need of Review: SPLA Transformation in 2006–10 and Beyond (HSBA Working Paper 23)

Richard Rands
Working Paper

The Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) is engaged in a process of transfor-mation: it is undergoing a conversion from a guerrilla force into an affordable, professional, and disciplined regular force designed to operate under democratic civil control of the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) or, at an appropri-ate  future  date,  as  part  of  a  national  army  under  a  government  of  national unity or its unified successor.1 The milestones for this process are outlined in the SPLA White Paper on Defence, which the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly endorsed in June 2008 (GoSS, 2008).

This Working Paper reviews the successes and shortcomings of the SPLA’s defence  transformation  process  to  date,  measured  against  the  White  Paper milestones. It takes into account decisions, events, processes, programmes, and  doctrine  relating  to  SPLA  transformation  and  development  from 2006onward. In so doing, it identifies a transformation gap that has become evi-dent between SPLA requirements and defence reform initiatives.

Keywords: SPLA