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Armed Youth In Maridi Rejoin Government

By Chuti Anyar And Stephen Bakindo


32 armed youth who have been battling with the SPLA in Maridi state, have defected back to government stating that they were deceived into joining Dr. Machar war.

The fighters, who deserted their group, were received on Monday by SPLA delegation headed by Spokesperson Brigadier Gen. Lul Ruai Koang.

 “They were received back on behave of the SPLA general headquarter in Maridi after they arrived in different location and in different interval. 

The come back to join their national army after they realize that life in the bush is not good as it’s of many suffering,” Gen. told the press.  Speaking to the Nation Mirror newspaper in an exclusive interview yesterday, Ruai said the rebels accused Dr. Riek of abandoning them in the bush and fleeing to neighboring Country his own safety. 

He narrated that those 32 who surrender were led by Lt Col. as the senior officer and many others of lower ranking officer including Non commission officers in the list. “They were part of SPLA-IO who left Juba under the command of the former first   vice president Dr. Riek Machar. They have decided to abandon   that movement of Dr. Riek Machar and  have join First Vice President General Taban Deng Gai who is working in the implementation of the peace agreement,” Ruai said.

Our correspondent in Maridi Stephen Bakindo in additional reporting confirmed the arrival of the 32 youth.

He interviewed one returnee youth, Robert Bakhit Defo  said it was not his intension to join the rebellion. He accused one SPLA IO commander in the bush he called Pala Oko as having deceived them to join the rebellion with promise of ranks.

He further reported that the Bishop of Maridi Diocese His Lordship Justin Badi Arama applauded the government for remembering the state by heeding to the initiative by the religious leaders. He said the return came at the when the church launched   “mission week of witness”

The State Governor Africano Mande is reported to have welcome the return and assured the SPLA and the government that the state was calm.

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