Sept 13, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — Latest reports from Panrieng county of Unity State reiterate that troops loyal to South Sudan president, Salva Kiir, are forcefully recruiting school children, teachers and aid workers in Panrieng county. According to Choldiit, a native of Panrieng, schools are closed due to fear of raids on schools by the SPLA-Juba troops.
“It had come into the light of the day that government of the republic of south sudan is subjecting some small sub tribe to be the prime of victim of their manufactured war, in panrieng county, unity state all schools are closed due to local orders issue to capture and recruit forcefully school teachers, school children and all sorts of working classes to join military by forced fail to accept may result into torturing and all kind of inhuman practices” Choldit said.
Reports from Panrieng county confirm that the government is also pursuing ex-combatants in the county. The ex-soldiers are heavily fine with 5 cows each, pursued and captured to be returned to serve in the army.
“In course of the last two months there has been forceful recruitment of the Ex- soldiers whereby if someone found to be not available or manage to escape , one has to fine with 5 cows and to pursue and capture , as the community who do respect and cooperate with whoever who claim to be a government side they convince and continue to help mobilizing ex- soldiers to return to their jobs as the nation need.” part of the report reads.
According to eye witness, the loyal troops do not spare any age, young and old are forced into the army. This comes after the government exhausted the search for ex-combatants who were sent home by the government in the past due to lack of salary, old age or sustained wounds from the previous wars.
Panrieng community condemns the forceful recruitment which targets children and teachers, who serve the civil population in the county and state.
“Again the government came up after they had collect all ex- combatants , to use another forced recruitment to every young and old whether being in school or serving in civil services to join army but as per forced recruitment of school children and other classes the community at large had condemn and urge all actors to cease the activity with immediate effect” Choldit states.
In other reports, over 200 children who were raided from primary schools in Panrieng were taken to unknown destinations. Their parents and concern groups beg the government to return the abducted children with immediate effect.
South Sudan government has forcefully recruited over 250 children, mostly from Nuer Ethnic group in Juba and Bentiu last month. Wider calls for recruitment have been extended to all counties across the country.
In July, Juba ordered the newly appointed governor Yau Yau to recruit 10,000 youth from the newly established Greater Pibor Administration Area(GPAA), however, David Yau’s administration downplayed the order.
Recruitment has continued in government controlled areas in Unity State as the anti-government forces occupy nearly 80% of the oil-rich Unity state.
Foreign rebels from Sudan helped the government captured towns in the state at the beginning of the year, however, most towns were recaptured in April and many Sudanese rebels and traders were dislodged and killed in Bentiu.