- The pastor was arrested a fortnight ago from his home in Lira town during a joint operation by UPDF 4th Division intelligence unit and the police Flying Squad.
- SPLA-IO is fighting the current government of South Sudan headed by Salva Kiir
- UPDF 4th Division Commander in Gulu, says their intelligence reports link the Pastor to the rebel recruitment
By Metedio Iceta
MOYO-The Deputy Spokesperson for Sudan People’s Liberation Army In Opposition (SLPA- IO} Col Gabriel Lam has said they do not recruit foreigners to fight the government of South Sudan.
He was reacting to media reports that a Ugandan pastor was recruiting people to join the SPLA-IO. The link of the Pastor to the recruitment of some Ugandans, was made by the UPDF 4th Division Commander, Brig. Emmanuel Kanyesigye.
Col. Lam Paul said: “The SPLA-IO does not know or have anyone called Jorom Opio in its ranks and file besides the SPLA IO does not recruit foreigners nor does it operate abroad. The South Sudanese who joined the SPLA IO do so voluntarily to bring about reforms to South Sudan under the leadership of Dr Riek Machar.”
Top: Some of the SPLA-IO rebels. And Col Lamp Paul speaking at Uganda-South Sudan border. Photo by internet and Felix
He said Brig. Kanyesigye in his accusation continued alleging that the so called Pastor Jorom Opio represented the SPLA IO last year in the peace talks that resulted to the signed cessation of hostilities (COH) on December 21 last year.
“This is completely false and the government of Uganda, being a member of the IGAD, knows exactly who represented the SPLM/A IO in the HLRF since it started on 18/12/2017,” he said.
Col Lam said the SPLA IO holds the Ugandan government with high esteem for not only hosting and protecting millions of South Sudanese refugees who fled the country due to the current conflict but also for tirelessly working hard to bring peace to South Sudan through the HLRF.
According to the Uganda People’s Defence Forces in Gulu, they are holding a renowned Lira street preacher Jorom Opio on allegations of recruiting Ugandan youth into the South Sudan people’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SOLA-IO), a rebel group in South Sudan.