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Military mobilisation in E. Equatoria attracts excess recruits

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By Ijoo Bosco

February 14, 2014 (TORIT) – The ongoing military mobilisation and recruitment campaign in South Sudan’s Eastern Equatoria state has attracted thousands, surpassing the initially proposed numbers of recruits, an official said on Thursday.

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Eastern Equatoria state Governor Louis Lobong Lojore speaking at the Equatoria conference in Juba, January 10, 2014 (Larco Lomayat)

Felix Otuduha Siro, the state adviser on political affairs told Sudan Tribune that up to 7,000 people have so far been recruited, yet the mobilisation campaign targeted only 5,000.

“The ongoing military mobilization and recruitments in the state counties entrusted upon them has greatly exceeded the pronounce figure by the countries vice president James Wani Igga,” he said.

Otuduha, who also chairs the Greater Torit mobilisation committee, revealed that between 70,000-80,000 people would now be recruited into the military, given the huge response from citizens.

“The state government has agreed to target up to 10,000 above the marked of 5,000 assigned to the state by the national president,” Otuduha remarked.

We are currently targeting even up to 10,000, basically because some of the new recruits might fall sick or leave the training due to some challenges in the process, he added.

The official further said the recruits, mainly comprising of former child soldiers and community members also vowed to defend South Sudan’s Transitional Constitution at all costs.

All the eight counties in the state have been involved in the mobilisation campaign, during which those targeted are given in-depth explanation on why the exercise was being done.

According to Otuduha, the high turn-out of those interested in being part of the military shows the huge support of the state population towards the current national government.

“Let hope the new recruits will be the army that will respect the constitution and the law that governor them not to be influence by politicians hungry for power,” he observed.

The official also hailed the state communities for their positive responses and urged them to stand firm in the face of unforeseen challenges likely to undermine South Sudan’s sovereignty.

REGIONAL BALANCE IN ARMY

Last month, Governors from South Sudan’s Greater Equatoria region agitated for a quota system in which people are recruited into the army and security organs from all regions to "discourage future ethnic coups, mutinies or rebellions".

The call was part of the resolution reached by the three governors of Central, Eastern and Western Equatoria states during an emergency conference organised on the current crisis in the capital, Juba.

The event, held on 10 January, also urged the country’s leaders to adopt laws to punish anyone involved in the politicisation and misuse of the army and other security organs.

“We strongly denounce the use of tribal loyalties to achieve or maintain political power that tend to foster tribal hegemony,” stipulates one of the resolutions.

The one-day conference, which brought together the three governors, also resolved to mobilise Equatorians for the protection of the territory, its people and their property.

Two months of violence in South Sudan has left an estimated 10,000 dead and displaced nearly a million in the country’s worst-ever violence outbreak since it seceded from Sudan in July 2011.

(ST)

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  • 15 February 07:30, by Johndumo14

    E. Equatoria military mobilisation campaign is a clear sign that Dr Riek has no support in E. Equatoria !!
    The leader of South Sudan’s rebels Dr Riek Machar has called for international support to oust Ugandan forces from the country.Dr Riek Machar is becoming like a mad person,he is everyday dreaming of becoming next s.sudan presint ,nothing else!! No way!!

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    • 15 February 07:36, by Johndumo14

      Even if Uganda withdraw its troops form S,Sudan,Dr Riek Machar`s rebels will never defeat the SPLA (government Troops).
      He didnot win the war in 1991 with SPLA when they were together with Arabs of Khartoum ,how can he will win this war?

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      • 15 February 17:43, by Paul

        We as Equatorians will fix this tribalized nation instead of breaking it up like Nuer and Dinka suspect us. we will also fix and balance the military ethnic composition and make it a military that only pay allegiance to the flag and the constitution and not tribal and corrupt leaders.

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        • 15 February 20:11, by Marco A. Wek

          Mr. Paul, I totally agree with you. We need all South Sudanese to be represented in this army. I am sick and tired of the army mostly composed of Dinka and Nuer. South Sudan does not only belong to Dinka and Nuer. I am a Dinka and I don’t like the way the army is made up of us and our cousins Nuer. Dinka/ Nuer army domination is a thread to South Sudan stability because our two tribes some wron

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  • 15 February 08:50, by Tom D

    Heey! Mr Johndumo 14 or what ever you call yourself, When did Equatorian people becomes fighters to face Nuer warrior? the untrue figures that your stupid governor post have not and will never be a threat to our young fighters in Jonglei state. Forcing those innocent young men to the join the military will not help you at all instaed, it will give you unforgettable lesson in the next government.

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    • 16 February 21:51, by axle

      Tom D, in todays armies around the world, only educated people are encouraged to enlist. I really don’t blame most of the nuer soldiers for joining the rebellion because the majority are illiterate. A foot soldier who knows the constitution would only protect the people and also uphold the constitution of the land. A coup in any country is the highest form of treason punishable by death.

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  • 15 February 10:26, by Marco Bul

    Ajok arobo.Louis Lobong Oyee!! Let’s whether this country will always be disturbed by morons and devil-worshippers.We are all Southerners.No need for rebellion

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  • 15 February 13:12, by Gat-khir

    Do you think that Equatorians are fool? They know what they are doing. They know that you want them to fight for you against Nuer. after Nuer are sillenced, the next target will be Zande. It is up to them (equatorians) to either liberate themselves or remain slaves of Dinka Government led by a drunk primitive from village camp.

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    • 15 February 15:26, by Maguangdit

      Equatorians have known the intention of Criminal Riak Machar that he is going to rename Juba as Ngundeng City and South Sudan as Ngundeng Country. Are the Nuer not stupid? Wait and see. Nuer are panicking now and blackmailing the government to accept the peace so that they will be salvaged but unless Nuer surrenders or accepts unconditional peace, they will face the music well.

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    • 15 February 17:33, by Wani khooto

      DEAR REBELS
      i told u that soon EE is joining the war,killing innocents and taking gov’ty by force using anti-dinka is not allow here,so let those fool following machar surrend before we kick thier ass with bullet.s sudan is not for rebels,claiming democratic while killing pple.shame on nuer.

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