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South Sudan president denies forming private army: spokesperson

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February 19, 2014 (JUBA) - South Sudanese president Salva Kiir was not forming a private army when he allowed for the mobilisation of youths for the purposes of creating a national reserve force, his spokesperson said.

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South Sudan President Salva Kiir has denied forming a private army, saying a youth-driven reserve force was a justified line of defence (AP)

“President Salva Kiir was not forming a private army. He would not do that. He is the commander-in-chief of all the armed forces,” spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday.

Ateny was reacting to a report by Sudan Tribune in which Kiir was quoted at a political function as saying the purpose of the recruitment drive was for youths to serve as a “reserve force”.

Kiir made the admission on Saturday at an event organised by the youth wing of his governing Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).

According to Ateny, the national call to service was issued in the aftermath of the 2012 Panthou (Heglig) conflict in which forces from the South Sudan army (SPLA) occupied the oil-producing area for 10 days before it was recaptured by Sudan. Ateny said that those who responded to the call were provided military training for the purposes of joining the national army.

“It appears some people did not like the idea, simply because the group was from the region which was not their own. They started to oppose it, though the idea was not bad. The intention was to make a reserve national force to be commanded by anybody,”Ateny said.

Speaking at Saturday’s youth function, Kiir defended the decision, saying a reserve force was a necessary line of defence in case of military difficulties.

He accused opponents of the force of denying the new recruits their salaries and weapons during training.

Youths recruited into the reserve force are widely believed to have played a key role in ethnic killings in Juba after the country was engulfed in violence following clashes between rival factions within the presidential guards on 15 December.

Critics of the president have questioned why the recruitment drive only targeted members of one ethnic group.

The SPLA’s chief of general staff has always distanced himself from questions surrounding the legality of the group, as have most members of the national legislative assembly.

(ST)

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  • 20 February 2014 06:58, by Kumbo

    The wedding of Miss Kiir to M7 is almost over due to Miss Kiir is an able to conceive while M7 is expecting a baby from Miss Kiir if the oil is shot done M7 will DIVORCE Miss Kiir immediately lol what a nice game.
    Ronald John Makmot

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    • 20 February 2014 07:23, by omoni jr.

      Is Ateny Wek really Human being?? we have animals in monkey clothes.

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    • 20 February 2014 10:05, by Johndumo14

      The life of Dr Riek Machar is in Danger!Some top rebel commanders are planning to kill Dr Riek,so that they can take over leadership of all rebels units in Malakal,Bentiu and Bor.Dr Riek is being accused of not a true leader,he simply joined the rebellion because he was dismissed from the post of Vice president.When a Group of srebels tried to kill him ,that is why he escaped from bentiu to Jongli

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  • 20 February 2014 07:15, by jubaone

    Yet another sign of confusion. Kiir says one thing his messanger-boy Ateny says another. Who is this messenger-boy, Ateny denying what his master Kiir has said? Perhaps the semi-illiterate Ateny should learn how to be consistent, not popping here and there like bull-piss shooting out from a running bull´s penis.

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    • 20 February 2014 07:50, by Mr Point

      Ateny contradicts his president. He contradicts himself. How can a national force come from only one group in one region and not be a private militia?
      Clearly Kiir formed a private militia. This clearly committed mass murder in Juba. Those responsible for murder are still free.
      Why?

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      • 20 February 2014 08:58, by mathem jech amer

        Mr Point
        Before answering your question"how can national force come from one tribe". My question is "How can rebel group come from one tribe", can you answer this question?

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  • 20 February 2014 08:56, by Joseph Canada

    Man, these monkeys don’t know how to lie man. So what did he call the presidential guards who are made only of Dinka and graduating without the approval of the Minister of Defence or the General Chief of Staff? In Human Monkeys lead by the bold headed Chimpanzee from Gogriel!!!!

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  • 20 February 2014 11:22, by thomas

    The last line is very telling:
    "The SPLA’s chief of general staff has always distanced himself from questions surrounding the legality of the group, as have most members of the national legislative assembly."
    A legal force goes through the legal channels; the SPLA institutions and the NLA. If not, it’s an illegal, personal (and hence private) army.

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  • 20 February 2014 12:07, by Gat-khir

    Who are you fooling ya wangkel (one eye). Who doesn’t know your boss had formed a private army? Even your primitive boss has said that himself he has trained a private army.

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    • 20 February 2014 15:14, by Konkooc

      fuck all nuer why riek form nuer in opposition. the rebel are only one tribe plus some hungry politician who are not even in the battle field
      nuer will finish one by one
      if there was no unmiss camp in South Sudan nuer would have finish or they might have ran to the bush like stupid phd nyariek. those nuers who in unmiss camps are nuer rebel supporters

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