Authorities in South Sudan are accusing opposition rebel groups of enrolling child soldiers, even as the country prepares to implement a historic peace deal next month.
Officials said the Sudan People’s Liberation Army – In Opposition (SPLM-IO) was forcibly recruiting youth and children into their military ranks in areas like Rubkona County, in Northern Liech State.
South Sudan State Information minister David Gai alleged that the forceful recruitment in Rubkona County was launched by SPLA-IO two weeks ago and had seen some civilians flee from their homes.
“Now areas like Nhial-Diu, which is part of Greater Rubkona, are almost empty because those communities have fled their homes to avoid the exercise,” Mr Gai said.
The SPLM-IO denied the claims. Its Deputy Military Spokesperson Lam Paul Gabriel told The EastAfrican the group was following through deals made in the revitalised peace agreement signed in September 2018.
Source: East African