The SPLA-IO is respecting the South Sudan’s law ‘child act” and abide by it at all levels.
In response to the Human Rights Watch regarding children conscripting into army is unfounded and disregarded. Since December 15/2013 when the war broke out in Juba, South Sudan government had lost 75% of its national army to rebellion in Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile. This forced government to make force recruitment on children and bring in Ugandan army in order to narrow the gaps. My operational commander Gen.James Koang Chuol gives clear order to all units under his command with in SPLA-IO not to put below the require ages of full physical development children to military training camps or participate in combats. The former Deputy Chief of operation General Peter Gatdet Yak is no longer in command and could not be recruiting child soldiers on behalf of the Opposition forces.
The commanders named in the report like Brigadier. Micheal Makal Kuol and Gen Johnson Olony were preserving souls from damnation for those children who were either forcibly recruited by Juba or joined forces to protect themselves and their communities in Unity and Chollo land in Upper Nile states. Elements from government such as Mathew Puljang and Gony Biliu acted inhuman; castrating, burning innocent children inside houses, force cannibalism, abducting and thrown them into terrifying gun battles in which they were killed. SPLA-IO is fighting for freedom of every individual, justice and constitutional right for all and no reason to deliberate and brutally recruited and uses children to fight.
SPLA-IO is fully committed and calling on the UN children’s agency; UNICEF and International Red cross to carry out quick survey across divisions, brigades, battalions, company and platoon levels under SPLA-IO at all war fronts to identify, demobilize the number of children may have been involves in the conflict across the country and reunite them with their families. We do also request the Human Rights Watch group or HRW to visit our military headquarters for further discussion with higher management of SPLA-IO command in order to make significant headway in ending the use of child soldiers in South Sudan.