National Salvation Front (NAS) United Kingdom
Date: 26th March 2017;
Response to JCE’s press release of 21st March 2017 in respect of General Thomas Cirilo Swaka
The JCE’s letter strives to depict General Thomas Cirilo Swaka and the Equatorians as enemies of Jieng and Nuer. In this false portrayal of General Swaka, the aim is to divide South Sudanese against one another.
This baseless claim that Equatorians wish to be annexed to Uganda or secede from South Sudan as an independent country is a ploy to delegitimize Equatorians as South Sudanese.
National Salvation Front is a movement championing the cause of all South Sudanese to rid the country of the current tribal system in Juba.
In paragraph 2 of the JCE’s letter, General Swaka is quoted out of context as he clearly referred to the incident of violence in July 2016, and not the power struggle that sparked the conflict in December 2013. Please see paragraph 2 of General Swaka’s resignation letter in its entirety.
The JCE argues that it has no violent agenda but that, “it is Thomas Cirilo himself who has done everything with his tribal death squads to target innocent Jieng on the Equatorian roads and towns.” This is not true.
The evidence of JCE’s violent agenda can be seen in their letters to the international community: ‘The Position of the JCE on the IGAD-Plus proposed compromise agreement’ (file:///C:/Users/Rosemary/Downloads/JCE%20-%20Position%20on%20Proposed%20Compromise%20Agreement%20(1).pdf) and ‘Jieng Council of Elders rejects imposition of peace on South Sudan’ (https://paanluelwel.com/2015/04/01/jieng-council-of-elders-rejects-imposition-of-peace-on-south-sudan/) and also the Obassanjo report: African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan.
As with regards to General Swaka being a leader of a “tribal death squad”, this is nothing other than a deliberate smear campaign to tarnish the image of General Swaka.
It is worth mentioning that General Swaka graduated from the Military College in Khartoum in 1984, that is nearly 2 years following the division of South Sudan into 3 regions of Bahr El Ghazal, Upper Nile and Equatoria by the then President Jaafar Mohamad Niemeri.
This division of the Southern Sudan resulted into the Jieng and the Nuer going to their respective regions. By the time General Swaka graduated from the military college and returned to Juba, arguably 99 percent of the Jieng and the Nuer had gone to their respective regions.
The crucial question then is: which Jieng and Nuer did General Swaka kill?
“The infamous White House” in Juba referred to by the JCE was created by President Omer El Bashir’s regime which came to power on 30th June 1989. The so called “White House” actually was the USAID office in Juba which the government took over and converted into a security office.
The name reflects the colour of the paint of the house. By this time literally there were no Jieng and Nuer in Juba save members of the security forces. Equally, there were no Equatorians in the other two regions as they had to return home. So what is the JCE talking about here?
General Swaka’s rebellion from the Sudanese army and his subsequent joining of the SPLM/A follows the massacre of Equatorian army officers, police officers, prison wardens, wild life officers and intellectuals by the Bashir regime in 1992.
Now if General Swaka were a Jieng hater, why would he have joined an organisation (SPLA/M) whose leader was a Jieng and dominated by the Jieng?
The JCE shamelessly claim that, “[m]ore importantly, the Jieng people possess the largest land mass in South Sudan and they are not in the business of territorial expansion. And so to suggest that The JCE has an agenda for forceful displacement of people from their ancestral lands is again a cheap lie by the general to win sympathy. The idea of tribal territorial expansion ended in the nineteenth century and the general must learn how to properly package his lies.”
This is rich coming from the JCE. When president Kiir issued a decree (Decree Establishment order 36/2015 in October 2015) the JCE was the first to jubilantly congratulate the president for this instrument of land theft from other tribes.
This decree annexed lands from the Chollo, Nuer and Fertit people to the benefit of the Jieng.
Furthermore the naming of places in non-Jieng territories by the Jieng using Jieng names is a attempt to psychologically lay claim of the area. For example Korok Hill in Juba the Jieng have named it ‘Jebel Dinka’, another example is the fact that the Jieng now call Nimule ‘Bor 2’.
If this is not evidence of territorial expansion endorsed by the JCE, why in their alleged civil capacity do they not speak out against it? Given this evidence, how can General Swaka be lying?
In relation to JCE’s claim made in paragraph 10 (last paragraph of page 3), the JCE claims that they have implemented the policy of affirmative action.
Aside from the patronising implications of that claim, please can the JCE provide evidence of this alleged policy which would be demonstrated by proportional representation of all the tribes and the regions in both the army and the government?
Paragraph 11 of the JCE’s letter states: “Another point worth responding to is point 10 of the letter which General Cirilo claimed that the JCE sits in military command meetings and that it gives directives to the military.
This is obviously a very cheap and baseless attack. The SPLA is a military organisation managing a civil war, so a civil body like the JCE has neither the knowledge nor the mandate to give instructions to military professionals.
What is clear is that General Cirilo is full of hate against the Jieng people and his wild claims against the JCE are simply his attempt to hide his hatred and his desire to tarnish the image of the Jieng people.”
The JCE is full of contradictions. Their claim that they are a civil body is utter nonsense. Their letter which we are responding to in itself is evidence that the JCE is not a civil society group because this letter without any doubt is advancing a political end.
Again their letters to the international community and their deadly involvement in the events leading to the cleansing of the Nuer in December 2013 reported in the Obassanjo report speak for itself.
Furthermore, what civic functions does the JCE perform?
For the JCE to deny their participation in military affairs of the Republic of South Sudan is beyond belief. As mentioned earlier, the Obassanjo report into the crisis in South Sudan clearly evidences the fact that the JCE is heavily involved in military affairs of the country.
The fact that they converted the army into Jieng militia cannot be denied and there is no way they can hide it. What kind of a national army would use the Jieng language as its operating language? Especially when Jieng is not the national language of the country, please see the evidence in this YouTube link, ‘The Mighty SPLA (Tiger Division)’ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSQDSn3eaBo)
In paragraph 13 of JCE’s letter (paragraph 4 of page 4), the JCE intends to distort the land grab attempts of General Swaka’s ancestral land by members of the Jieng. Please see ‘Confronting the Jieng policy of land grab in South Sudan.’(https://pachodo.org/latest-news-articles/pachodo-english-articles/12156-confronting-the-policy-of-land-grab-in-south-sudan)
What the JCE is doing by their insinuations here is projecting their own behaviour onto the general.
In regards to paragraph 14 of JCE’s letter (paragraph 5 of page 4), the people of South Sudan have been victimised, abused and disempowered by the Jieng dominated government. The logical and natural result of such treatment is scepticism and resentment.
The JCE seeks to trivialise these natural sentiments by dismissing and projecting them as tribalism onto other non Jieng people. This is a dangerous policy because the JCE is living in denial of other communities pains.
Should the JCE continue to peddle this dismissive argument, the other communities may retaliate against the Jieng because the Jieng would not have had the time to reflect and change the behaviour that is alienating them from other South Sudanese communities. Please see, ‘The storm of change gathering to sweep Kiir and the JCE from power.’ (http://www.southsudannation.com/the-storm-of-change-gathering-to-sweep-kiir-and-jce-from-power/)
The attempted character assassination of General Swaka by the JCE is a clear example of the extent to which the JCE will go to discredit a credible opposition leader who has fought tirelessly for the liberation of South Sudan.
The lies fabricated about General Swaka being a foreign agent, corrupt, money embezzler and ‘a weak charactered man’ without any truth in it is intended to destroy General Swaka. We cannot be angry with the JCE for this letter because it is proof that they are clutching at straws to defeat a formidable opponent.
In conclusion, JCE’s ugly role in the destabilisation and destruction of South Sudan with its tribal agenda is openly known to every South Sudanese including children.
Their attempt to rebrand themselves as a civil society group, pursuing peace in the country in order to rebut General Thomas Cirilo Swaka’s evidenced assertion in his resignation letter, will not pull the wool over the eyes of the people of South Sudan.
NSF (NAS) UK