Khartoum — The Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) said that 114 soldiers from the South Sudanese army (SPLA) have sought refuge in Sudan due to severe economic hardship and hunger.
SAF spokesperson, al-Sawarmi Khalid Sa'ad, told a Sudanese daily newspaper that 114 South Sudanese soldiers carrying 38 rifles handed over their weapons and sought refuge in Sudan due to economic hardship, adding that the Sudanese government had deemed them to be refugees.
Residents of Al-Mayerm locality in West Kordofan state said that the soldiers had crossed the borders from the Greater Bahr el Ghazal region and surrendered to the authorities in Al-Mayrem.
According to Al-Intibaha newspaper on Sunday, the soldiers pointed they defected from South Sudan's army in the Western and Northern Bahr el Ghazal, states, saying they dissented because of hunger.
Al-Intibaha further said that two other groups consisting of 70 and 100 soldiers headed to Sudan from Ba?r al-?Arab and Gulu areas in Bahr el-Ghazal.
The three year nation has since December last year been embroiled in a conflict that threatens to tear the country apart. While thousands have already died, nearly 1.5 million people have been displaced internally and 400,000 people have crossed borders to neighbouring countries.