President Salva Kiir on Thursday opened sixth Command Council of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) at Bilpham, with calls to place emphasis on restructuring and transformation of the national army.

The event was held under the theme “Our Loyalty and Service to the Nation not Tribes or Parties.”

President Kiir, who spoke in his capacity as the commander-in-chief of the SPLA army, emphasized the importance of transformation of the national army. He explained that restructuring would make the army effective and conform to international standards.

“It is not something easy to restructure and transform the army but it is the work we must not defer,” said President Kiir.

“The transformation we have been talking about must start from the top and this conference must concentrate on how to transform the SPLA,” he added.

The South Sudanese leader stressed that the discipline in the army is very important, describing it as a very important element of professional army acquired through training. “Training is one of the areas in which we have to work together to transform this institution,” he said.

“When a soldier is trained it becomes an opportunity to know what he did not know and it comes through training, “he said.

Kiir pointed out that the SPLA army was more disciplined during the liberation struggle as a rebel movement than when it became a national army.