Nov 8, 2015(Nyamilepedia) —- In a declaration paper, authorized by Maj. Gen. Alfred Futiyo Karaba Unyang, “the arrow boys” who have been battling the Lord Resistance Army with support of Salva Kiir’s government but lately turned their arrows on the government have declared joining the SPLM/SPLA in Opposition.
“We Arrow boys brigade in western Equatoria state do hereby declare ours position has part of SPLA-IO operation based in pagak.” Read part of the declaration.
According to Maj. Gen Alfred Futiyo, who declared himself as the commander of Nerran Division in Western Equatoria, his force which he estimates to be over 17, 000 youths have now joined the SPLA IN opposition.
“Now, we are SPLA-IO operation force in Western Equatoria State under Bright Star Compaign Phase II Nerran Division.” Gen. Futiyo said.
“We finally, decided to fight for our survival and protection of ours entire communities in western Equatoria. Ours forces is 17,825 from Mvolo to Najero.” Maj. Gen. Fatiyo explained.
The group, locally known as arrow-boys, have been battling Salva Kiir’s regime around Yambio in Western Equatoria and some parts of Eastern Equatoria since earlier this year.
Many youth from the three states of Equatoria region, notably from Yambio, Maridi, Mundri, Nimule and Terekeka have been disappearing since 2014.
While some are believe to be fighting a guerrilla warfare in the bushes of Equatoria, hundreds are believed to be serving “illegal detentions” in Juba.
In July this year, Captain Charles Gbadegbare, who identified himself as the commander of Arrow-Boys in Maridi County accused Hon. Peter Bashir Gbendi, and Salva Kiir government of having illegally arrested over 30 youth from Maridi and urged the government to release them or risk retaliation.
Arrow boys, an Equatoiran based civil defense, was formed in 2007 to combat LRA Ambororo nomad militant who committed atrocity in western Equatoria state.
“We were working hand in hand with Government of Republic of South Sudan.” Said Maj. Gen. Alfred Futiyo Karaba Unyang
Futiyo, explains that when political crisis turned into violence in December 2013, “Arrow boys Brigade” were reorganized into “Nerran Division”.
Futiyo reiterates that the youth were forced to take up arms to resist death and force displacement of Equatorians from their ancestral land.
The leader of arrow boys accused Salva Kiir’s government of killing civilians, saying:
“those who kill people in south Sudan are from within government in juba. Nor from nowhere.”
Earlier documents leaked to Nyamilepedia revealed over 300 youths from Equatoria submitted their lists to SPLM/SPLA-IO officials to be integrated into the SPLA-force before the peace agreement is concluded.
Latest reports from Juba indicate that security situation in Western Equatoria remains futile as the arrow boys continue to resist SPLA (Juba) forces in the area.
In other reports, government officials claim more than 450 youths from UNMISS camps in Juba have sneaked out of the capital to join rebellion, a report that is yet to be confirmed by the United Nation Mission in South Sudan.
Salva Kiir’s government has been battling separate rebellions in various parts of the country since 2005, however, rebellion has worsen in the last two years as the regime becomes too weak to combat the disgruntled youth.
In addition to numerous grievances from land disputes, massacres of civilians to political disputes, the government rewards ex-fighters with money, high ranks and positions.
In reports read on SSTV, President Salva Kiir promoted former clergy, David Yau Yau, a returnee who fought the government between 2010 and 2014, to rank of Lieutenant General as part of integration process into SPLA main stream.
Many other youths in the government allied militia from Murle and Bul-Nuer have been promoted to high ranks and expected to be fully absorbed into SPLA as ordered by President Salva Kiir.