By Ijoo Bosco
April 9, 2013 (TORIT) – Authorities in Eastern Equatoria state’s Magwi county have denounced an accusation levied against the paramount chief of Acholi corridor over the mobilisation of tens of thousands of youths to join rebel forces loyal to former vice-president Riek Machar.
- Micah Olweny, the paramount chief of Eastern Equatoria’s Acholi corridor, has rejected claims he was responsible for mobilising youths to join rebel forces (ST)
Paramount chief Micah Olweny reiterated that the state government had mandated him to mobilise the community to join defence efforts under the ruling government.
He accused of elements in the diaspora community of making the allegations out of their own interests, saying the claims had been detrimental to both the community’s image and his own leadership.
“I want to denounce in [the] strongest voice possible that the accusation put against me with my people in [the] Acholi corridor of Magwi county is a complete lie; it’s just a mere confusion and destruction to my name,” he said.
Olweny accused his opponents of circulating false rumours on the internet and create tensions in the community, calling on the diaspora community to exercise restraint and work to promote peaceful coexistence rather than propaganda.
The paramount chief also called on the youth of Acholi corridor to stand with the ruling government and distance themselves from innuendo and rumours.
Olweny said community representatives and fellow Acholi corridor chiefs planned to travel to the capital, Juba, to meet the vice-president and personally denounce the claims.
Magwi county commissioner Francis Okech has also denied the paramount chief was involved in an alleged military mobilisation of youths with the aim of overthrowing president Salva Kiir.
Okech stressed that the security situation in Magwi County remained calm despite some minor wrangles along the border of Pajok with Uganda and Lobone, adding that action would be taken in coming days to resolve the dispute.
He said that the Acholi community stands with the elected government in Juba and did not support any efforts to take power by force, urging youth to be watchful of the challenges directed against them.
Political tensions erupted in violence in mid-December last year in Juba before spreading to other key areas across the country.
The conflict has pitted rebels aligned with Machar against government forces loyal to the Kiir-led government.