Gen. Thomas Cirillo: Demand for Federal system and the 10 former states system

RadioTamazuj, Addis Ababa, JUL/24/2018;

Gen. Thomas Cirillo Swaka, leader of the National Salvation Front (NAS), said the opposition seeks to reduce the power of President Salva Kiir and strengthen institutions in the transitional period.

The disaffected army general quit his position in the military last year and formed a rebel group to fight against the government.

In an interview with Radio Tamazuj from Addis Ababa on Monday, General Cirillo, who secretly quit the on-going IGAD-sponsored talks in Khartoum, said the opposition rejected many power sharing proposals presented by the mediation team at ongoing peace talks for failing to address the root cause of the conflict.

He further said the current system of governance in South Sudan is awarding the office of the president wide powers.

The opposition leader underscored that excessive power in President Kiir’s hand is undermining the workings of the democracy and accountability in the world’s youngest nation.

“We don’t want to dwell on power sharing. We want to tackle the system of governance, so we are saying this is our top priority,” Cirillo said.

He pointed out that a fundamental weakness of the current system of government is the way in which it allocates powers and resources to the states and counties.

The opposition official said it is crucial that South Sudanese parties agree on a council of presidency with equal powers during the transitional period.

“We don’t want powers to be in one man’s hand so that he does whatever he wants to do in the country. If Salva Kiir will continue as the president, he should be part of the presidency where there should be a consensus based decision-making process during the transitional period,” he explained.

Cirillo said that the opposition will not religuish its demand to get power at the local government level during the transitional period.

He also said that the people of South Sudan demand for federal governance, a system in which sovereign powers are divided between federal and state governments.”

“The national government has too much power and the states are being weakened, so we are confident that the federal system will empower our people at the local government level. We reject any proposal saying the federal system will be introduced after the transitional period,” he said.

The opposition leader voiced support for a peace agreement that is widely inclusive of the views of the South Sudanese people and that engages civil society, faith-based groups and women.

Cirillo demanded that South Sudan should revert to the defunct 10 states as provided for in the 2015 peace agreement. “If the people of South Sudan demand more states, there will a referendum so that they can decide on the number of states. The current 32 states have caused conflicts in South Sudan,” Cirillo said.

He further said the opposition alliance will sign a peace deal in Khartoum on Thursday if their concerns are addressed by the mediation team.


  1. Lokosang says:

    Bravo general Cirillo. I don’t have much to comment but I would like to extend millions of congratulation for the courageous stand you have exhibited in the face to the tyranny in Juba and those behind him whether being Museveni or Bashir. people of South Sudan have endured enough suffering. They deserve a genuine leader who can serve them diligently.
    Let the struggle continue and victory is certain.

  2. Eastern says:

    Let there be clear distinction between those who are still trapped in state of confusion and those who are ready to take a bold step like Thomas Cirilo has taken. Bravo for the bold step taken!

  3. Dear: Major General Mr.Thomas Cirilo Swaka

    You demand federalism and 10 States.There are very many federal types.Which one of them do you want to be applicable to your government????!!!!!!

    About 10-States in the South Sudan government in the Republic,it is not a remedy to the government problems of the South Sudan government in the country in the Republic! THE REMEDY IS ON POLITICAL SYSTEM!!!!!!!

    Thank you.Tell to us YOUR FEDERALISM TYPE! Back to you in the forum South Sudan Nation(SSN)

    Sincere Healing Anger


    Kansas City,MO.USA

    • Taban Alimasi says:

      ABIKO” don’t make it complex, you understand what Federalism mean; there’s only one system of federalism, but various ways of how power is shared between federal government and states. Surly Republic of South Sudan have suffered enough and need peace, however, with its diversity our country need a system of governance that would be inclusive and address the root causes of our suffering, which led to our ancestor forming Liberate movements.

  4. Taban Alimasi says:

    You are right, Mr. Lokosang at last someone talking like a real visionary leader, who have the national interest not about positions. The citizens need a durable and practical peace not complex devoted to individual leader’s interest

  5. Mogga Morbe says:

    I concur with the Gen. on the issue of governance based on the people will. People of South Sudan have suffered a lot under the current lukewarm political system since the onset of this country. We need peace more then ever before but only on the basis of equal share of power.
    The huge or lenient government is not much important to the people of S.S now for the sake tangible, meaningful peace. Let there be peace at last whether there are five or ten vice presidents despite the lack of consideration of the concerns of Equatorians regarding this matter when there are four VPs for Upper Nile alone and one for equatorial only!
    The most important issue at hand is the good governance based on equitable division of power, wealth and development. Our people should be wise enough in handling governance issues, especially the negotiators, in order to bring out the best agreement from Khartoum tomorrow or next.

    • Mor-amook says:

      The system of governance should be voted through referendum not one man to claim he was fighting for that system of governance. What is wrong with referendum? Referendum is democratic exercise.

      • GatCharwearbol says:

        Nothing is absolutely wrong with referendum, in fact, it is the best way. The problem is what drag us to war in 2013. When an individual expresses his desire to run for presidency, some hooligan sees it as threat and ended up recruiting tribal militia. If referendum can be done in a manner reflective of people will and in a free environment devoid of coercion and threat, it would be encouraged. So Mr. Mor-amook, the problem is you and your likes who do not want the playing field to be leveled.

      • Taban Alimasi says:

        Hi Mor-amok,
        You are right, referendum is a democratic process for citizens to make decisions, however it was not through referendum that the number of state was increased to 32, neither was the ten states. My argument is not about democratic process, because nothing has ever been done democratically in South Sudan since the independent. Realistically the argument should be about current human development and economic situation of our country, not about accommodating power hungry warlord. South Sudan needs sincere peace that focus on national interest, if we considered the argument behind these states, which was supposed taking services to people (the famous quote from Dr John the founding father of SPLM). This very government including Dr Riek, now turned rebel leader had failed gloriously to providing sufficient services to ten states let alone 32, civil servants are not receiving salaries, while they accumulate wealth.

        • info@southsudannation says:

          Taban Alimasi,
          You are absolutely right indeed, that Machar can’t be simply exculpated from the calamity that befell the country. He was the better half of president Kiir in messing up the country and in looting the nearly a BILLION (1000 million) US dollars each with Kiir. Two men billionaires in a country of starving citizens.
          Machar signed the agreement simply to be free to access his (along with his wife, Angelina) the millions looted some of which are hidden in jellaba Beshir’s Khartoum, Sudan.
          In short, Machar is surrendering to this peace for his self-interest and self-preservation and freedom from the South African incarceration (of course, including Angelina and the kids).
          Typically, any agreement ever signed by Machar never survives for long. But this time Machar won’t be lucky missing Kiir’s bullets.
          Even Ngundeng won’t save him next round…..

      • Eastern says:

        Tyrannical regimes the world over have exploited the weaknesses of general elections and referanda to their advantages. Using state powers, which are exclusively with Kiir, the call for conduct of Referandum to decide the number of states which Kiir, possibly with the advice of JCE, decreed just after signing the ARCSS 2015, is quite bellow the belt!

        Anybody thinking of general elections and or Referandum in South Sudan any time soon is just adding more catalyst to the already dire situation caused by the governance malfeasance at J1.

        I rest my case!

  6. Bismark says:

    The political position of Mr Swaka is the genuine demand of the downtrodden South Sudanese who voted for independence referendum enthusiastically in 2011. This call should not be underestimated because it spells the sovereignty of the people. It simply demands people’s birth rights through non violent way. This country with it’s people is not something for cheap political game of greed and misrule.

  7. Lokosang says:

    Dear brother Mor-amok let me ask you this simple question, did the autocratic regime in Juba conducted a referendum for the creation of the 32 states? If not why? The regime rig the 2010 election, it has killed thousands of innocent civilians on broad day light in Juba in the name of democracy, Mr Kiir has created 32 states without consent from the people in the name of SPLM, he has abrogated the 2015 ARCSS, dismissed elected governors, dissolved SPLM institutions in 2013, the so called National legislative Assembly only represent Salfa Kiir SPLM, hence what make you to believe that referendum can work under Kiir regime?
    Unless you are from the same coin as the regime in Juba you would not be talking of referendum to determine whether the people of South Sudan need federal system of government or not. You know very well that free democracy don’t work in countries like ours. Every thing is taken by republican decree whether people like or not.
    The message from general Thomas is very clear, let there be agreement on how to address the fundamental problems of our country first before talking about positions so that there would be a permanent peace that we will all enjoy as equal citizens regardless of our tribe, religion, culture, clans or states.

    • info@southsudannation says:

      Brother Lokosang,
      The greatest impediment in our lack of unity is South Sudan has always been the jieng malicious intention of trying to ‘eat’ everything and shit on everybody else.
      The demand for devolution and federalism in South Sudan goes back as far as the famous Juba Conference in 1947 and again just before Sudan’s independence in 1956.
      Again, when the first war of independence started by and in Equatoria in 1955, federalism was high in the agenda and even within the Anya Nya liberation movement.
      But when Abel Alier stole the leadership in 1972, South Sudan became a doomed nation as one tribe dominated, no wonder, everything collapsed in 1983 and then war was started by those kicked out from power.
      Sadly, South Sudan will always remain unstable and digressive unless we adopt a federal system in this our accursed nation.

  8. Dear: The Fellow Member Mr.Taban Alimasi

    Sorry for the delay!I saw your reply a bit late.I would reply to you on time soon as possible as I can be!

    Okay,I do not make it complex. Him,Gen.Thomas Cirilllo Swaka,he is the one who makes complex!There are two words between federal and federalism. Federal is a noun which is means the government itself is always a federal type in the government system. But Federalism means the type of government which starting from National Level,State Level and Local government which is always running independently and running different functions altogether.

    Which one is Gen.Thomas Cirillo Swaka is demanding???!!! Thank you. Back to you in the forum South Sudan Nation(SSN) Discussion Board.

    Sincere Stop Killing!


    Kansas City,MO.U.S.A.

  9. Mor-amook says:

    The issue of federalism is tackled in the latest version. It will be voted in a referendum regionally and internationally monitored before transitional period ends. Please ask your Gen. Swaka & Bakosoro to sign the peace. The will of the people of south Sudan is not decided by individuals or groups, it will be determined by the people themselves through votes. That was why we were supported to hold referendum in 2011 to decide between UNITY or SEPARATION, but it was not the SPLM as a party by then who brought separation. They negotiate it and left it in the hands of people. In a democratic society, if something is not agreed by consensus, people go for voting.

    The issue of those who are refusing to sign power sharing deal is not connected to federalism, it’s a coded agenda. If it was federalism, let them sign. The people of south Sudan will decide, not they. By the way, there is nothing wrong with federal system of governance, it’s good system empowering locals to run their own affairs. But the way those oppositions are pushing for it even if it has been proposed to be resolved through referendum casts doubt.

    To me, there is hidden agenda, or maybe the type of federal governance they mean is different from what is being exercise in the world including some of our neighbors.

    • info@southsudannation says:

      I thought ‘Federalism’ is what it implies. What is it that you are afraid of this word?
      America is a federal government, so is Germany and Nigeria…etc.
      A federal system of governance is what it means or connotes, nothing hideous in this popular system of governance.

  10. Beek says:

    Thomas Cirillo is a City BOY.

  11. J. Malooma says:

    info@ssn (Editor),
    Don’t be too brutal towards the IO and their leader Riek Machar. What have you done that brought the regime into the negotiating table when the IO was politically and militarily isolated and weakened – – – -, and when their leader was confined faraway in SA; and when the regime was on killing and destruction of non-jieng lives and properties at will throughout the country? Nothing!
    Your negative campaign would have been more effective and make sense if directed to Mr Kirr and associates. But, Let me assure you that Dr RMT, the man that you dislike as hell, is for peace and is here to stay – – – !
    Better prepared for the worse if you wish him dead, because the opposition is true. But we need peace – – – more than anything.

    To mor-amook and likes,
    South Sudan will be a federal and democratic state, 32 stupid states would be done and thrown through the window, national dialogue will be restructured in accordance with new governance, and Kirr and his associates/supporters including you would be ashamed forever in the history of South Sudan.
    These changes will take place whether Mr Kirr and associates would be part of the upcoming government or not.

  12. mading says:

    Editor, South Sudan has many problems because of people like you who have big loud mouths with nothing to show on the ground when it come to action, let’s give peace a chance internet warriors.

    • info@southsudannation says:

      The patient and suffering people have given your leaders plenty of time to bring peace but is it there?
      Remember 1983?
      People of South Sudan were totally fed up with the Abel Alier tyranny and an abominably failed leadership and as a result ‘KOKORA’ became the only option and South Sudan was surgically cut into three pieces.
      Perhaps, it’s time we seek some similar intervention to put things finally to rest.
      Peace will surely then arrive home.
      Please pass this advice to Killer Kiir.

  13. Dear: Comrade Mading

    Stop sleeping! Wake up! President Kirr days,are running out! His staunch supporter Army Chief Staff Paul Malong Awan,is no longer on Kirr Camp! He is now with South Sudanese people,s camp! His power has no solid! Trust me! Tell him to look asylum in Sudan government to his friend President Omer El Beshir! Back to you.Thank you!

    Sincere Healing Anger!



  14. False Millionnaire says:

    But it’s said that a certain Tabule overthrew général TC and handed NSF in the presumed peace vanwagon,any clear Word about that?!!!

  15. Roberto Kasongo says:

    Gen. Thomas Cirillo must watch his back. Kiir has infiltrated NSF through his new puppet the governor of Yei State. Now the roads blocks have been set, let’s see how these useless traitors are going to escape.

    Roberto Kasongo (Bana Equatoria)

  16. Roberto Kasongo says:

    Gen. Thomas Cirillo must watch his back.Kiir has inflitrated NSF through his new puppet the governor of Yei State.These useless generals are looking after their own interests.

    Roberto kasongo (Bana Equatoria)

  17. mading says:

    chief Abiko. I am not sleeping my country man, Kiir is there to stay, he signed peace yesterday with rebel leaders and he will still be president for next three years. To me it does not looks like he is going anywhere anytime soon Mr. Abiko.

  18. Lokosang says:

    Don’t behave like a hyena who only loves his stomach and don’t care about his brothers and sisters. For how long international community is going to feed your people while president Kiir is busy with alcohol and women?

    You should know that president Kiir is not only destructive to other tribes but even to his own tribe. See the influx of your people to Northern Sudan and how they are badly humiliated by the Jalaba!

    Majority of them became baggers and eat food remnants from Khartoum restaurants while their brothers like you and president Kiir are enjoying luxurious life in Juba with public money.

    Is this the person you would defend to stay? What a shame!

  19. Dear:Our Fellow Citizens Southerners

    For your information,do not ever bring again your hope onto Gen.Thomas Cirrillo Swaka The Chairman of National Salvation Front and Commander in Chief. His power is no longer with him.His power is now with the new Chairman Mr.Boutrous Khalid,and Julius Tabuley!He had had been KNOCKED OUT! President Salva Kirr is a GREAT WINNER! Watch out General Idi Amin King of Africa! Thank you.Back to you to the audience! I talk,and you talk! You talk,and I talk!

    Sincere Healing Anger!



  20. mading says:

    Mr. Chief Abiko, Lokosang. I feel sorry for you guys.

  21. Lokosang says:

    Chief Abiko why are so naïve to believe those traitors who claimed they have taken the leadership of NAS!
    Are you not following the events in the social media? Have you not heard what Kiir has said about those traitors upon arrival to Juba international airport? I wonder if those of Tabuley and Butrus that you now jumped to their boat heard what Kiir spoke about them would they still stick to their traitorous decision or would they apologise to the people of SS and come back and join people’s revolution? If you have not lost your mind how can 4 people declared their defection to Juba regime be a threat to NAS? Let me remind of 1991 when those of Riek and LAm declared coup against John Garang did they succeed? of course not. Why? because John Garang was in charge of 90% of SPLA army from Southern Sudan to Numba mountains and Southern Blue Nile. The same of NAS general Cirillo is in charge of NAS from Western Baherl El Ghazal, Equatoria and Upper Nile while your 4 boys are in Khartoum leaking the foot of Bashir and Mr Kiir. It seems like you have made a decision to join those of Tabuley otherwise you wouldn’t have written this nonsense of yours. If you have made a decision, don’t waste time you can simply follow those position hunters and we shall see what will happen

  22. mading says:

    Lokosang. Your so called General never had troops in the first place. Thomas has been living in the hotel in Ethiopia since he ran a way SPLA soldiers money in Juba, he never set foot to South Sudan after that, so don’t bored people with your NAS stories of having troops in those places you mentioned.

  23. Lokosang says:

    The reason why Kiir doesn’t change or listen to the conscious voices because of people like you who are not liberal minded, but behave like parrots which only repeat what their masters told them. This narrative that General Thomas had taken army money has been proved beyond reasonable doubt that it was regime’s desperate resort to tarnish the image of the well respected and honest general in both SS and NS.
    I am not defending the general but the truth has been spoken. The Kenyan bank that the regime in Juba assumed the general had deposited the money you are speaking of had refuted that claim.
    Brother, if you have nothing to contribute to this forum, you better keep quiet than shaming yourself.

  24. mading says:

    When was the last time your respected general been to front line since left South Sudan like what Late Cdr John Garang used to do to SPLA soldiers ? So now who is shaming himself between the two of us? When you talked of your tribal Thomas having troops all over South Sudan, and he does not even go to the FIeld to visit his troops?
    And you know the answer, he does not have troops in the field, leave alone having troops all over our country.
    he is only enjoying his stolen money in Ethiopia, and that is all.
    Does that sound to you like I have nothing to say to you?

  25. Ali says:

    hi all
    I am Ali a Sudanese journalist ..There is leaking of an international plot under a regional auspices to make the Big Equatorial a separate country or annex it to become part of Uganda with the reunification of the rest of southern Sudan with the Northern Sudan … I hope to hear from you your assessment of this talk
    I am working on news report on that

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