February 9, 2021 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s SPLA-IO chaired by the First Vice President Riek Machar dismissed reports about the recruitment of elements belonging to an Ethiopian armed group.
Several news outlets social media’s pages last week circulated a document alleging that two commanders of the Ethiopian Unity Patriot Army (EUPA) under the leadership of Thowath Pal Chay, have joined the SPLA-IO.
The report claimed that one of the two commanders met personally with Machar in February 2020 and he directed him to reach out the SPLA-Io force in Jekow, in the Upper Nile State.
In a statement released on Tuesday, SPLA-IO Military Spokesman Lam Paul Gabriel dismissed the authenticity of the document which allegedly issued by Sector Four(4) Deputy Commander; Maj. Gen. Khor Chuol Giet.
“This is a complete fabrication meant to jeopardize the diplomatic relationship the SPLA-IO has with the Ethiopian Government,” said Gabriel.
He added that they have no relation with this Ethiopian group and did not receive any of its members in the SPLA-IO cantonment sites.
“The SPLA-IO respects the integrity of Ethiopia and also the support of the government of Ethiopia towards the Implementation of the R-ARCSS,” he stressed.
From 1993 to 2012, the EUPF which is formed by Nuer people in the Gambela region of Ethiopia waged war against the government in Addis Ababa before to sign a peace agreement and end its rebellion in 2016.