SPLA IO is a breakaway faction from the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), the official South Sudanese army and is allied to Dr Riek Machar, the former South Sudan vice president who rebelled against President Salvir Kiir in 2012.
According to Kidega, South Sudanese authorities complained during their an inter border meeting in Torit State headquarters about Ugandans being recruited into SPLA IO ranks.
The inter border symposium was convened in regards to complaints by Ugandan authorities about armed South Sudanese soldiers threatening farmers currently in the areas of Adodi wilderness in Lamwo that borders South Sudan.
It is alleged that during the meeting, Alberio Tobiolo Oromo, the Torit State governor claimed that they had identified some Ugandan nationals who are holding military ranks within the SPLA IO rebel faction who are now persuading Ugandan youths to join their ranks with promises of decent remuneration.
He singled out Captain Geoffrey Komakech, a resident of Lukome in Gulu district who is now in the SPLA IO ranks, claiming that he has recruited over 30 youths from Gulu, Lamwo and Kitgum districts. Kidega asked Ugandans to denounce those approaching them to join the rebel ranks.
Lokung sub county LC III chairperson, Ocan Joackim Opoka confirmed receiving reports that some South Sudanese nationals living in the diaspora are sending dollars to the Ugandan youth allegedly through Western Union to join SPLA IO. Efforts to get a comment from the UPDF 5th spokesperson, Captain Hassan Kato on the matter were futile.