Authorities in Northern Liech State have said the SPLA-IO is forcefully recruiting youth into their ranks, an accusation the main opposition group has denied.
The state minister of information says the recruitment has forced some civilians to flee their homes.
“There is forceful recruitment by SPLA-IO in the area of greater Rubkona,” David Gai told Eye Radio on Monday.
“This has happened for almost a week, they are forcefully recruiting the youth and also taking the cows of the civilians who run away from the forceful recruitment.”
Gai added that parents whose youth have escaped conscription are getting “arbitrarily arrested”.
When contacted by Eye Radio, the SPLA IO Deputy Military Spokesperson Colonel Lam Paul Gabriel denied the allegations, saying IO forces are located for away from the alleged area of recruitment.
“Our forces are in the cantonment sites and the cantonment sites are Melmel and Ding-ding; and we have our base currently in a place called Tumur and SSOA forces in Mayom,” Col. Paul stated.
“Now what will take us from Melmel to go and recruit in Thoat and Nhialdiu? This is just a negative propaganda being put against SPLA IO.”
The revitalized peace agreement obligates all parties to disengage from any recruitment of forces.
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