April 27, 14 (AWERIAL) – The governor of South Sudan’s Lakes state has urged local youths to join the military in order to protect the country from instability.
- Hundreds of South Sudanese youths attend a rally at Mingkaman in Lakes state’s Awerial county on 27 April 2014 (ST)
Matur Chut Dhuol made the remarks on Sunday while speaking to hundreds of youths who had gathered at the Awerial county headquarters in Mingkaman following a visit to internally displaced people and local residents.
Mingkaman currently hosts over 100,000 displaced people who fled intense fighting in Jonglei state, which borders Lakes state to the east.
“You must have known that we are under critical time, the country needs you, youth, for protection. Come and you will be taken to where our enemy enters,” Dhuol said.
“What we are doing today is eye for eye, you pinch me, I pinch you too, no forgiveness. If someone pin you time and again and you don’t do the same, you are creating a point of weakness to yourself. That was why Moses (in the Bible) introduced these rules to govern his people,” added the caretaker governor.
He encouraged youths to provide the manpower needed to end rebellion in the country, stressing that the South Sudanese government was fully prepared militarily to end the ongoing conflict.
The governor’s appeal comes months after the government announced it had embarked on mass recruitment of youth from 18 years onwards to join it army. Since then, more than 20,000 young men have reportedly been recruited and were undergoing training prior to their deployment.
Violence erupted in South Sudan in the capital, Juba, in mid-December before spreading to other key areas across the country. The fighting has pitted forces loyal to president Salva Kiir against rebels fighters aligned with his former deputy, Riek Machar.
The United Nations says over a million people have been displaced by the more than four-month-old conflict, while thousands have fled to neighbouring countries.