By Our Reporter
Police and sister security agencies in Uganda are investigating allegations that militia in South Sudan are recruiting Ugandan youth into rebel ranks.
The shocking revelation was made by the Lamwo Resident District Commissioner, James Nabinson Kidega, who said South Sudanese authorities complained during an inter-border meeting in Torit State headquarters about Ugandans being recruited into Sudan Peoples Liberation Army In Opposition (SPLA IO) ranks.
The inter-border symposium was convened in regards to complaints from Ugandan authorities about armed South Sudanese soldiers threatening farmers currently in the areas of Adodi wilderness in Lamwo that borders South Sudan.
The SPLA IO is a breakaway faction from the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-(SPLA), the official South Sudan army.
SPLA IO is allied to Dr. Riek Machar, the former South Sudan vice president who rebelled against President, Salvir Kiir in 2012, before declaring war against the government.
It is alleged that during the meeting, Alberio Tobiolo Oromo, the Torit State Governor, claimed that they had identified some Ugandan nationals who are holding military ranks within the SPLA IO rebel faction who are now persuading Ugandan youths to join themwith promises of decent remuneration.
He singled out Captain Geoffrey Komakech, a resident of Lukome in Gulu district who is now in the SPLA IO ranks, claiming that he has recruited over 30 youths from Gulu, Lamwo and Kitgum districts. However, RDC Kidega asked Ugandans to denounce those approaching them to join the rebel ranks in South Sudan or Uganda.
Ocan Joackim Opoka, the Lokung Sub-County LC III Chairperson, confirmed receiving reports that some South Sudanese nationals living in the diaspora are financing youth in the area to support rebellion against South Sudan.
However, efforts to get a comment from the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF)5th Spokesperson, Captain Hassan Kato about the matter were futile, since he couldn’t be reached on phone.