September 5th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan’s main armed opposition group, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) led by former First Vice-President Dr. Riek Machar Teny said Thursday that reports of military recruitment in UN protection of civilians (PoC) sites in the country are false.
On Wednesday, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said in a short report that the main armed opposition group was carrying out an extensive conscription of civilians seeking protection at its bases across the country.
Machar who is also the First Vice-President designate signed a revitalized version of a 2015 peace deal with President Salva Kiir Mayardit a year ago.
It would be unclear why a party to the agreement would seek to boost its military rank should the alleged report of conscription be true.
However, Duer Tut Duer, a senior member of the main armed opposition movement told the Nyamilepedia that the report of recruitment is not true saying the group has enough military on the ground.
The SPLM/A (IO) has around 300,000 strong men in uniform which would need to be decreased because the revitalized peace deal provides for the formation of a national army of a 112,000 which would be divided between the government and the large armed opposition fifth-fifty.
“This is not true. This is false,” Duer, a former governor for opposition-controlled Sobat state told the Nyamilepedia Thursday. “The movement has more forces on the ground which are much higher than the number allowed in forming a unified professional national army.”
He said the report is “aimed at tarnishing the image of the Movement in order to brand it as anti-peace entity.”