October 8, 2017 - South Sudanese armed opposition dismissed reports that it was recruiting Ethiopian citizens from the Gambella region to engage in the armed conflict.
“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 of information and public relations said in a statement.
“Consequent upon this, how can we recruit foreigners if we do not enlist our own countrymen and women as Thoth Pal alleged,” he said.
The armed opposition official also appealed to regional leaders, the African Union, and the international communities at large not believe the reports.
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.