South Sudanese army General resigns, cites “tribally engineered war”

Lt. Gen. Thomas Cirillo Swaka. Photo: File

Nairobi/Juba, February 11, 2017 (SSNA) – A senior South Sudanese military officer has resigned from the national army (SPLA), describing the ongoing civil war as “tribally engineered war.”

In his explosive resignation letter, seen by the South Sudan News Agency, Lt. Gen. Thomas Cirillo Swaka the SPLA Deputy Chief of General Staff for Logistics, blasted President Kiir, the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE), and SPLA Chief of General Staff, saying the JCE is the real Cabinet of South Sudanese Government. General Swaka also accused the trio of pursuing an agenda of ethnic domination, adding that the ongoing armed conflict was tribally engineered.

“I am convinced the violence which erupted in Juba in December 2013 and swiftly spread to several parts of South Sudan, in due course becoming a devastating war, was planned and orchestrated by design. This TRIBALLY engineered war resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent lives and the displacement of at least two million people….mainly innocent civilians, women and children currently living in miserable conditions either as internally displaced (IDPs), virtually prisoners in the UN camps or as refugees,” Swaka said in a statement.

“Pres. Kiir and Jieng Council of Elders (JCE), which is the real Cabinet of the Government, failed to recognize the sacrifices and struggle of other nationalities and they even go to the extent of denying the contributions of other nationalities during the liberation struggle. The President and his tribal JCE have concentrated on entrenching Dinka ethnic domination, turning other organized forces and the SPLA into brutal tribal forces, terrorizing and intimidating their opponents,” he explained. He added “the government of South Sudan deliberately orchestrated violations” of the August 2015 compromise peace agreement.

General Swaka, who in the past objected to land grab in and around Juba also disclosed in his resignation that General Paul Malong, JCE, and President deliberately working to undermine contributions of other South Sudanese tribes.

He explained in his letter that the national army (SPLA) was supposed to be transformed into a professional national army, but President Kiir and the JCE have “tactically and systematically transformed the SPLA into a tribal army.” General Swaka disclosed that the SPLA is now taken over by tribal militias loyal only to”tribal leadership of President Kiir and SPLA Chief of General Staff Paul Malong,” adding the SPLA is now participating in the “systemic killing of the people, rape of women and burning of villages.” Swaka exposes that Kiir and Paul Malong “systematically recruited Dinka in all security sectors and units, paying particular attention to promoting and appointing Dinkas from sections hailing specifically from Bahr el Ghazel region, the home area of the president and Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Paul Malong Awan. Most of these recruits are promoted to officer ranks and made commanders of most SPLA units. The same for the Police, Prisons, Fire Brigade, Military and National Intelligence, CID and Customs, all commanded by Dinkas. By design, other nationalist revolutionaries who fought the liberation war have been humiliated, demoralized and effectively demobilized from the service.”

General Swaka also alleged that SPLA militia, organized forces, security organs, and Kiir’s Tiger Division of being the “unknown gunmen” on the rampage killing, rape, torture, looting, among other crimes.

“Innocent civilians, especially Non-Dinkas, are being arbitrary arrested, detained and killed by the security organs all over the country. Those detained are subjected to torture and humiliation in what is called ‘Safe Houses.” In Jebel Luri, where the President’s special residence is built, and in Gorum military area controlled by Tiger Division of Kiir and the Mathiang Anyor militia, many innocent detainees are dying in these “prisons” falsely accused of either expressing opposing views or supporting rebels,” Swaka explained.

The letter also proclaimed that SPLA militias and other security organs are looting government assets and hijacking government vehicles with impunity. General Swaka revealed that, under Paul Malong, the national army has become tribalized and that many years has passed without holding an official meeting of command of the army, adding Kiir and Malong mostly meet in their residences with loyal officers who are from their tribesmen. He further disclosed that non-Dinka SPLA soldiers are deliberately deployed out of Equatoria region to Upper Nile and Bahr el Ghazel regions.

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12 Comments. Leave new

  • “Another news, another opportunist. What different will useless rebellion make? Big money they were milking in Juba is drying up, so are looking for green pasture in rebel camps only to be running back to Juba after finding nothing there but desperation.”

  • The general is right because the current government is led by tribal leader who always gets is advise from jce. There is no doubt , this is tribal war like he mentioned all unit led by Dinka and all non were removed from their position or force retirement. These imbecilic thugs ,one day this government will return back to people of South Sudanese and the government will be different from tribe government.

  • The general is right because the current government is led by tribal leader who always gets is advise from jce. There is no doubt , this is tribal war like he mentioned all unit led by Dinka and all non Dinka were removed from their position or force retirement. These imbecilic thugs ,one day this government will return back to people of South Sudanese and the government will be different from tribe government.

  • Government money is good.

  • Removed most of them.

  • The resignation is a positive move but comes a little bit too late and perhaps, moving away from the regime does not change any thing but instituting changes within is the best option. Now ,many will regard you as a disgruntled and desperate General. Waiting to hear your next option of what you wish South Sudan should be?
    I am not surprised of these trends of things but it is a revelation of what was cooking in the kitchen and many more may follow.

  • I don’t know really if these so called south sudanese leaders are capable of ruling the people because they lack wisdom from God and are not God fearing leaders. God’s time will come because He knows everything.

  • Toomuch "the Internet Worrior."
    February 13, 2017 8:55 am

    The story of Hyena of South Sudan his Salva Kiir the Dictator: He call all the generals and politicians to discuss the current issue, death of Nation and start by praying to God all merciful and forgiving like Me (salva Kiir). I have never stole any money from public fund, never remove any one from the government by force, and never commit any genocide in South Sudan oh God Salva Kiir. These South Sudanese people are the bad who destroy the country like me who want to Stay in power forever. Dr Riek and his brave viva boys said NO you cannot FOUL US around YOU but God know all of us heart one by ONE. You will definitely die sooner than you think. Hyena in Juba will ever learn the meaning of country and unity of our people. Thomas Cirilo made the right decision to defect and expose the tribalist regime to want to control the national resource has their own affair.

  • Why that Guy got a hole his head?

  • I have known Gen. Sakwa since 2006 as a very sober guy. Highly respected for his discipline, loyalty to the nation (S.Sudan) and institution of the army (SPLA) whilst maintaining a neutral position in a highly tribal and troubled environment.

  • future belong to those who think n do the right things

  • Deng Makuach
    March 2, 2017 2:44 am

    Being resigned from the post will not gives jce the abilities to transformed a new cabinet.
    For now if jce community has owned the government and they are located every kinds of leadership to the tribesmen is not necessary for resignation, you need site for a round talk with human right agencies to let the case be solved. Now look Mr Sirilo resignation will gives Equatorian no chance to be consider them as the people who have their people at the top position that is a great mistake he had for his people .And with I think we south sudanese people will one day realise all our mistakes and the only way is to forgive each other by solving our problem by our self , God bless south Sudan.


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