National News

SPLA denies recruiting refugees

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The Sudan People’s Liberation Army [SPLA] has dismissed the allegation that it was recruiting  refugees and students studying in northern Uganda.

This statement comes a few days after the armed group loyal to Dr. Riek Machar accused the government in Juba of allegedly recruiting civilians and students living in refugee camps in northern Uganda.

In response, the army Acting spokesperson Col. Santo Domic Chol denied the claims but said the SPLA intelligence and its Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) counterpart will get together to prove the facts behind the allegations.

Chol reiterated that there are no evidence to show that the government was recruiting civilians in refugee camps, saying the rebels are still wearing SPLA uniform.

“These rebels are South Sudanese and they look like the SPLA soldiers because they are still using the SPLA uniform with the national coat of arm ,”.

“Anybody can come out and claim that he or she was from the SPLA which  is unjustifiable,” Col. Chol said.

The report said that an official from the Office of the Prime Minister of Uganda had allegedly intercepted 63 South Sudanese refugees being ferried from Uganda back home and two more  picked from Bidi-Bidi refugee camp through the influence of the Yei River State governor, David Lokonga Moses.

However, the army Acting spokesperson denied all the allegations.

Uganda is currently hosting more than one million South Sudanese refugees who fled the fighting in the country with the majority of them seeking shelter in Bidi-Bidi refugee camp.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Bidi-Bidi is the biggest refugee camp in the world with over 270,000 South Sudanese refugees.

By Morris Dogga

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