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.