JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) --
South Sudan’s main rebel group, the Sudan
People’s Liberation Army in-Opposition (SPLA-IO), on Wednesday
denied allegations that the group is recruiting Ugandan youth
into its ranks.
reported on Tuesday that security operatives have arrested a
preacher in the northern district of Lira for allegedly
conscripting Ugandan youth into the South Sudanese rebel
movement that is fighting to topple the government of President
Lam Paul Gabriel,
SPLA-IO deputy military spokesperson, said in a statement that
the rebel group does not enroll foreign fighters into its ranks.
Gabriel argued that
the suspect identified as Pastor Jorom Opio is not in the SPLA-IO
ranks or files, adding that the group value Uganda’s role in
hosting South Sudanese refugees and for supporting the latest
peace efforts aimed at ending the ongoing civil war.
“SPLA-IO does not
recruit foreigners nor does it operate abroad. The South
Sudanese who joined the SPLA-IO do so voluntarily to bring about
reforms to South Sudan. This requires personal sacrifice,”
South Sudan has been
embroiled in more than four years of conflict that has taken a
devastating toll on the people, creating one of the fastest
growing refugee crisis in the world.
A peace deal signed
in August 2015 between the rival leaders under UN pressure led
to the establishment of a transitional unity government in
April, but was shattered by renewed fighting in July 2016.
South Sudan women demand
greater participation in peace revival process
JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) --
South Sudanese women were on Tuesday
encouraged to push for more representation to influence the
upcoming third round of peace revival talks in Ethiopia.
minister Lily Albino said women have borne the brunt of the war
in the country and should actively participate and be heard
during resumption of the High-Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF)
mid-March mediated by the regional bloc IGAD in Ethiopia.
“Women are demanding
50-percent representation at the high-level revitalization Forum
from the previous 25 percent under the 2015 peace agreement,”
she said during the opening of the training for women on peace
by the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
She added that they
are also demanding 35-percent representation at the national
According to UNMISS
spokesperson Francesca Mold, the event will enable the over 150
participants to learn about the ongoing peace process and
discuss ways to advance it.
expected to include women lawmakers from the Transitional
Legislative Assembly (TLA), women academics and leaders from
civil society as well as representatives of UNMISS’ Gender Unit.
proposals from the conference are expected to inform the
position of women in the ongoing peace process.
“I hope that women
will be able to take their position and express that position in
one unified voice so that they will able to have solid outcome
in this High-Level Revitalization Forum by engaging closely with
government, civil society and mediators,” said Kasumi Nishigaya,
UNMISS Chief of Section and Gender Advisor.
descended into violence in December 2013, after political
dispute between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek
Machar led to fighting mostly between Dinka ethnic soldiers
loyal to Kiir against Machar’s Nuer ethnic group.
The 2015 peace
agreement to end the violence was again violated in July 2016
when the rival factions resumed fighting in the capital forcing
Machar to flee into exile.
The conflict has
killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions that
have sought refuge in neighboring countries.