August 9, 2014 (BOR) – The deputy governor of South Sudan’s Jonglei state, Baba Medan, has vowed to mobilise forces against rebels should they fail to reach a peace deal with the government.
Addressing former child soldiers, popularly known as Red Army on Saturday, accused opposition forces led by former vice president Riek Machar of frustrating the ongoing talks mediated by the East African regional bloc (IGAD).
“Last time mobilisation was made in South Sudan for youth to join South Sudan army to end rebellion, but Murle did not go. Only those in the army participated. But this time, if peace doesn’t come, you will see what Murle will do,” remarked the deputy governor.
“Even Riek Machar will say sorry, I didn’t want it this way. Riek Machar will leave Akobo, Uror, Nyirol, Ayod and those other places,” he added.
Medan claimed several volunteers were to assist pro-government forces in the fight against the rebels to end the almost eight month-long conflict.
“There are people in Pibor now, who are crying with their guns, they want to fight, but we are telling them to sit and wait. If peace doesn’t come, we will release them,” he said.
The deputy governor, however, urged members of the red army to serve as peace envoys.
“Be the ambassadors of peace and unity to our people in the country. Let your name red army be for peace [and] tell Riek Machar to accept peace,” he said.
South Sudan’s warring parties are yet to agree on modalities for the establishment of a transitional government as the 60-day ultimatum agreed in May approaches.