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South Sudanese rebels deny recruiting Ethiopian citizens


October 7, 2017 (JUBA) – A South Sudanese armed opposition official has dismissed claims that the rebel group was recruiting Ethiopian citizens from the Gambella region to engage in the armed conflict.

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Rebel fighters aligned with former vice-president Riek Machar gather in a village in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state on 8 February 2014 (Photo: Goran Tomasevic/Reuters)

An Ethiopian opposition leader and chairman of the Ethiopian Unity-Patriotic Front (EUPF), Thowath Pal Chay the rebel group loyal to South Sudan’s former Vice President, Riek Machar were allegedly involving Ethiopian citizens in the young nation’s bloody civil war.

“We would like to emphasize that we do not, under no circumstance, recruit anyone, even South Sudanese citizens to participate in the ongoing armed conflicts in South Sudanese. They do, however, join voluntarily,” Puok Buluang, the armed opposition’s director for information and public relations said in a statement.

The rebel official described as “unfounded” the EUPF chairman’s allegations on the operations of the South Sudanese rebel faction.

“Consequent upon this, how can we recruit foreigners if we do not enlist our own countrymen and women as Thowath Pal alleged,” he said, amid claims the Ethiopia rebel group supports the Juba regime.

According to Buluang, an agreement was reached in April 2015 between the Ethiopian rebel group and the Juba regime, in which South Sudan allegedly agreed to train Ethiopian rebel fighters whose main objective was to overthrow the regime in Addis Ababa.

Sudan Tribune could, however, not independently verify claims from the rebel official.

Meanwhile, the armed opposition official also appealed to regional leaders, the African Union and the international communities at large not believe statements attributed to the Ethiopian rebel leader.

Early this year, the Ethiopian government rubbished reports by some social media outlets that diplomatic relations between South Sudan and Ethiopia were worsening following a recent visit by South Sudanese president Salva Kiir to Egypt.

Ethiopia currently hosts close to 300,000 South Sudanese refugees, most of whom fled after the conflict broke out in the world’s newest nation in December 2013, according to U.N estimates.


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  • 8 October 2017 10:54, by Eastern

    The Kiir-Taban alliance of deceit should spare the little money they may have for their upkeep in Juba. Spending that money to spread false information by way of bribery won’t help matters. Thowath Pal Chay is in the same catch 22 situation Taban Gai finds himself in.The way out of that mess is by lying and scapegoating...!

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    • 8 October 2017 11:31, by South South


      We all know Riek is involving of recruiting Ethiopia Nuers, everyone who follows Riek knows that. Riek’s body guards were caught with Ethiopia passports by Ethiopia government. Please just eat your chicken in USA and drink your beer comfortably and leave the affairs of South Sudan for us. We will reach the other of river soon.

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      • 8 October 2017 13:06, by jubaone

        South South,
        This cheap and stupid propaganda by jienges and facilitated by Thowath Chay. This Ethiopian Nuer was reported to be in Juba and soliciting for help fight the AA govt. Now this jienge hireling turns around to accuse SS Nuers from the refugee camps voluntarily coming to fight the jienges. Nothing wrong. Thowath has received over 70,000 U$ according to anonymous sources. We know that 👊

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        • 8 October 2017 13:37, by Eastern


          The Jenge can deceive some hungry people for some time but they cannot deceive ANGRY people all the time..! South South and Taban Deng know this. Now Ahmed Deng Alor, one of their own agrees that lying ad infinitum is unsustainable. The tribal regime in Juba is not a government but a Kiir-Taban alliance representing the interests of the two men only.

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        • 8 October 2017 14:12, by South South


          Please shut up lair. Majority of Nuers are with Taban Deng. This is very clear when we entered to Pagak in the middle of the day. Now you are sitting under computer to lie. No rebels close to any town or city in South Sudan. Another pinhead called Eastern is lying too and try to blame everything to Dinka tribe. How about two of you are big cowards, will you blame Dinka for it?

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          • 8 October 2017 15:29, by jubaone

            South South,
            Cowardly Jienges have outsourced the war to let Nuers carry on with fratricidal carnage while they preoccupy themselves with terrorizing civilians and armed robberies. In Equatoria, they have franchised this war to Acholi hirelings under Gen JJ Okot and Arrow Boys. Jienges can’t fight, they take flights ? or 🏃 away to Uganda or Kenya. They’ve been on it for 21yrs.

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          • 8 October 2017 15:35, by jubaone

            South South,
            You have franchised this fratricidal carnage to Nuers alone while jienges are busy terrorizing unarmed civilians or looting. In Equatoria, they use Acholi hirelings under Gen JJ Okit and Arrow Boys. Jienges can’t fight, they take flights ? or 🏃 away. They have been doing this for 21yrs.

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    • 9 October 2017 07:51, by Midit Mitot

      Thowath Pal had already lost his common sense since their government had overrun by Melese in 1991, He is always talking nonsense as a traumatized general.

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  • 8 October 2017 13:39, by yomdit

    Kiir is out of south Sudan crisis just your negotiator the killer Taban and Riek these are people who kills you Nuer

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    • 8 October 2017 15:00, by Redeemer

      Jubaone, Wutkhor, Eastern, Lou Nuer etc
      under revitalization, Riek proposed to takeover IO from Taban and continue from where Taban is. when he was asked that it is now becoming clear that he (Riek) defected from IO he failed to answer, he completely remained doom. it is shameful to leader people where you don’t know

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      • 8 October 2017 15:02, by Redeemer

        It is shameful to lead people to where you don’t know

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        • 8 October 2017 15:12, by Redeemer

          One thing you the supporters of Riek should know is that, Riek cannot make any positive change in the history, his attitudes of non cooperation with other leaders shows that he is not a right leader, look at what happened after Nasir declaration con----

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          • 8 October 2017 15:43, by Redeemer

            After Nasir declaration his movement split into:
            1 Lam akol faction
            2 Paulino Matip faction
            3 Nyuany Bany (which led to Nyuany’s death)
            under IO:
            1 Peter Gatdet faction
            2 Changson Chang faction
            3 NAS faction
            4 Lado Gore faction(he is the most senior but he said he cannot manage Nuer)
            Where is the sense of a leader?

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      • 8 October 2017 15:42, by Eastern


        Don’t event try to fake it. Asking Riek or indeed anybody out of the Kiir-Taban alliance given the current debacle, that will be the expected answer. SPLA-IO left Juba in July 2016. Anybody/anything that remained in Juba is something else. I don’t by what nomenclature they identify themselves. SPLA/SPLM-IO belongs with Dr. Machar. Case closed..!

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        • 8 October 2017 15:56, by Redeemer

          Don’t think things will be as easy as your usual wild insults, just wait and see next week is at the door, your godfather Riek has exposed himself as the evil #1, let me tell you something why Riek IO is at its knees? and why Riek lost the world support at the blink of an eye

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          • 8 October 2017 19:26, by Eastern

            That money used for bribing is no more; try something else, perhaps your long-horned skinny dinka cows - just may be..!

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  • 8 October 2017 15:46, by Eastern


    This stupid reasoning of non-cooperation by Dr. Machar is below your belt. The ARCSS was signed with an arrangement that was meant to clip Kiir’s excessive power which he was abusing. Dr. Machar was a partner to Kiir in implementing the agreement. Now that Kiir’s lapdog Taban Deng has been cooperating and having harmonious working relation with his master, why is the country in mess?

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    • 8 October 2017 16:08, by Redeemer

      When IO soldiers left their camps at jebel for J1, the world filmed it and it was backup by J1 security cameras and Riek think that he is smart to fool the world that Kiir planned kill him. That point made the whole world to know that though Kiir is not really the right leader, the suffering of South Sudanese is at stake in Riek’s tribal politics

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      • 8 October 2017 16:26, by Redeemer

        cool bro. Nuer are out of Riek’s briefcase so he grabbed innocent Equatorians who don’t know that Riek’s leadership is like morning dew. Let us be truthful, tell me Sir. Eastern who started a movement based on tribe in the history of South Sudan? If you don’t believe me, asked who from other tribe who served in Riek’s made agreement of 1997-2002?

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        • 8 October 2017 16:36, by Redeemer

          Sir. Eastern
          When you formed a militia tribal group called Equatoria Defence Force (EDF) who were you defending Equatoria against? according to your makako mind, it was against Dinka but we proved to you that we were the most defenders of Equatoria

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          • 8 October 2017 17:02, by Eastern


            This dinka childish arrogance is the reason South Sudan will continue to remain in bubbles. Prior to the July 8, 2016 gunfight at Gudele, Kiir was already killing Machar’s members of the SPLA-IO in Juba. Instead of demilitarising the town, Kiir brought more dinka militias in the suburbs of Mia Saba, Lologo, Gurei, placed others in various hotels in town, etc.

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            • 8 October 2017 20:57, by jubaone

              That jienges have been defending Equatoria while Equatorians looked on passively or ran to Uganda is jienge bullshit. Why would they defend Equatoria while there innocent Jienges were trekked to slavery by Mesiriya and Muraheleen? Perhaps this explains that jiengeland has no strategic relevance and jienges are comfortable in Equatoria.

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          • 8 October 2017 21:04, by jubaone

            The jienges still have a traumatic experience since they got butted out of Equatoria during Kokora. The current war is wonderful bcoz clear between Equatorians and jienges have been drawn. Yei, Kaya and most towns have been "cleaned" and only wild savage nyors keep guard. This time full Kokora or death 💀. We shall hunt them like bush pigs without mercy 👊 jienges.

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  • 8 October 2017 17:05, by Eastern


    As Kiir to send people who reason to come for peace or he will continue meeting madmen in the front line to the detriment of his tribal regime failing to meet its obligations in the country and abroad. We shall frustrate Kiir’s tribal regime from mismanaging South Sudan further..!

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    • 9 October 2017 06:29, by Kuch

      Can you please define your phrase "tribal regime"?

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