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S. Sudan heads on alleged rebel recruitment among Ugandan refugees

By Robert Ariaka, Abdurahuman Abdurahuman Ayub

Added 19th March 2019 03:51 PM

This comes at a time when the South Sudanese leaders believe that rebels of Africa’s youngest state are recruiting youths to join subversive activities to fight the South Sudan government.

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Alli Wani, a military intelligence officer from S. Sudan observed that some rebel groups along the borders disguise as UPDF officers. Photo by Abdulrahman Ayub.

This comes at a time when the South Sudanese leaders believe that rebels of Africa’s youngest state are recruiting youths to join subversive activities to fight the South Sudan government.

PEACE DEAL

KOBOKO - South Sudanese Leaders comprising of security officials and political leaders have appealed to Ugandan authorities to block any rebel recruitment activities inside Ugandan refugee settlements.

This comes at a time when the South Sudanese leaders believe that rebels of Africa’s youngest state are recruiting youths to join subversive activities to fight the South Sudan government.

The leaders both political and security officials held a cross border meeting with Ugandan counterparts in Koboko on Wednesday last week.

As part of maintaining the revitalization of the peace agreement, S. Sudan leaders faulted Uganda for alleged aiding of rebel activities especially along the borders of the two countries and inside the Ugandan refugee settlements.

Alli Wani, a military intelligent officer from South Sudan observed that some rebel groups along the borders disguise as UPDF officers, some infiltrate the refugee settlements taking advantage of the porous border routes to recruit the youth to join rebel groups.

This poses a threat to the existing peace in both countries. The cross border meeting called between Yei River State officials and those from Koboko, Arua, Moyo and Yumbe was chaired by Emmanuel Adil Anthon, the governor of Yei River state.

The South Sudanese leaders claim, the rebel factions causing havoc in the country gain privileges and support from Uganda using the porous border points to advance to Uganda and access refugee settlements.

Adil implored for joint collaboration and tightening security along the borders by UPDF and South Sudanese security officials to block suspicious movements of wrong characters possessing ammunition.

General Abdallah Majier Mabior the First counsellor to the South Sudan Embassy of Kampala, Uganda notes that, peace prevailing in the two states is a result of efforts made by Presidents; Yoweri Museveni, Umar El-Bashir and Salva Kiir.

He faulted some individuals especially from the "National Salvation" taking advantage of the good Ugandan refugee policy that grants amnesty for all refugees regardless of their background causing destruction along Yei-Kaya highway.

Mabior local governments along the border points of Koboko, Yumbe and Moyo to intercept any suspected rebel activity for regional peace to prevail.

Williams Anyama, the LC5 chairman Moyo district who neither confirmed nor denied the allegations on refugee recruitment in to rebels says it is the responsibility of both governments to conduct joint security force and investigate the matter for concrete solution.

"I do not want to confirm that there is recruitment of refugees into rebels, I do not have evidence of those claims and we do not want to sweep it under the carpet." Anyama said.

Anyama says the Uganda government does not provide space for rebel activities to fight its neighbours.

Taban Yassin the LC5 chairman Yumbe district said it is a mistake for any Ugandan leader or national to back armed forces against the neighbouring state yet the desire to promote Pan Africanism is a key agenda.

"As government, we have an obligation and bilateral relationships with South Sudan not to support criminal activities against each other, but protect the existing peace.”

Taban is worried about the liberty provided to the refugees by the UN refugee Act to have free movements across the borders and individuals who intrude the camps claiming to offer jobs to the asylum seekers saying these could easily aid the said recruitments.

Isaac Kawooya the RDC Koboko says several criminals disguise as armed forces soiling the image of government and UPDF. Kawooya says both states have resolved to control criminal activities along the borders.

Nahori Oyaa the Arua RDC told New Vision that a team of security force has been mobilized to investigate the claims of refugee recruitment into rebel groups. Once investigations are concluded, culprits will be apprehended and handed over to the authorities for further scrutiny.

 

 

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