Finance ministry to clear unpaid salary arrears of soldiers

The Minister of Finance and Planning has pledged to clear all the salary arrears of the newly deployed Necessary Unified Force (NUF) based on the 2023-2024 fiscal year budget.

Dr. Barnaba Bak Chol made a pledge on Wednesday during the commencement of the deployment of the Unified Forces after the then minister of Interior said the priority of the finance ministry should be the protection of the country’s sovereignty and that it should stand ready to support the defense ministry as the deployment takes place.

“Finance’s priority is country defense through you [forces] and should solve your challenges first,” said Angelina Teny said before she was dismissed early this year.

In response, Dr Bak affirmed that he is solely responsible for the logistics, food, uniform, and salaries of the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF).

“I am happy to stand in front of you here today on this big day and witness your deployment on this wonderful day, I am very happy and if there is one thing I would say, is that I’m working on SSPDF’s services: Your logistics, food, uniforms and all your wellbeing,” Bak explained.

He said he told the chair of the National Transitional Committee, Tut Gatluak, that the salaries of the forces must start from August 2023.

“I told the chairman that the salaries of these people must start from August on ward. So, your salary is not starting today,” the minister assured.

On Wednesday, the peace government commenced the deployment of the Necessary Unified Forces (NUFs), with the first battalion comprising about 1,000 soldiers at Luri training Center, west of Juba to Malakal, Upper Nile state.