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Maridi: 35 militants give up arms

Author : | Published: Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Thirty-five soldiers who were loyal to Dr Riek Machar and Wisley Welebe have given up arms and returned to their homes in Maridi.

They were fighting the government in former Western Equatoria, but returned home after hearing that the President had offered amnesty to all armed groups.

The Governor of Maridi, Africano Monday, says the soldiers laid down their guns voluntarily.

Mr Africano says his government didn’t sign any agreement with the fighter because it is not a competence of the state government.

“This is because as state we don’t have prerogative to sign peace agreement with any arm group because we will not be in position to meet some of their demands that they may put across the table,” he told the media on Monday in Maridi while the 35 soldiers were paraded before journalists.

Some of the soldiers who were loyal to both Dr Riek and Welebe said they abandoned the insurgency due to lack of medicines and food.

“What took me to bush it was the political, because they were telling me that I had over-stayed in my rank as a sergeant so my colleagues were telling to join them and I would be promoted,” said one of the veterans.

Among the soldiers who surrendered were two girls. One of them spoke to the media, saying she was forced to join the armed group.

The SPLA spokesperson Brigadier Lul Ruai Koang says the soldiers were form three different armed groups.

“For this group, I have assumed they have defected from Riek Machar. They are the ones who said ‘enough is enough’,” said Brig Ruai

Five of the soliders were brought to Juba last evening.

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