To preserve, defend and protect the people, property, sovereignty and territorial integrity of South Sudan, contributing to regional stability and supporting international peace initiatives.

SPLA Mandate

To preserve and defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of South Sudan.

The SPLA was founded as a guerrilla movement against the government of Sudan in 1983 and was a key participant of the Second Sudanese Civil War. Throughout the war, it was led by John Garang. Following John Garang’s death in 2005, Salva Kiir was named the new Commander-in-Chief of SPLA.

With South Sudan’s independence in 2011, the SPLA became the new republic’s regular army. As of 2018, the SPLA was estimated to have 185,000 soldiers as well as an unknown number of personnel in the small South Sudan Air Force.
As of 2010, the SPLA was divided into divisions of 10,000–14,000 soldiers.