South Sudanese rebels denied on Thursday a report stating that they are recruiting Ugandan youth to fight in South Sudan alongside the SPLA-IO forces in their war against Kiir government.
“The SPLA-IO has excess soldiers with trained reserve forces in South Sudan who can fight for its course. We are not fighting for resources and personal gains but for a course beyond ourselves, democracy, respect for rule of law, human rights, dignity and against corruption,” SPLA-IO deputy spokesman Paul Lam Gabriel said in a statement.
The New Vision, Uganda’s leading daily, cited the police spokesperson Asan Kasingye on Tuesday as saying that many of the Ugandan youth who have been recruited by the rebels fighting to oust President Salva Kiir’s government have been used to stage ambushes and road blocks on the Nimule-Juba highway.
Uganda, a key ally of South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir, fought alongside South Sudanese government forces against rebels after the outbreak of civil war in December 2013.The Ugandan troops pulled out of neighbouring South Sudan as part of the 2015 peace deal signed in Addis Ababa.