Former South Sudan military official, General Thomas Cirillo Swaka released a statement Monday, has launched a new rebel group, National Salvation Front that aims to fight the South Sudan President Salva Kiir.
“The National Salvation Front (NAS) is convinced that to restore sanity and normalcy in our country, Kiir must go, he must vacate the office without further bloodshed,” read a statement released by the general
The General made the announcement on Monday through a statement according to a report by VOA. There is no clear picture of how big the rebel group is and is it will work together with Riek Machar’s Sudan People’s Liberation Army-in-Opposition (SPLA-IO), the rebel group that has battled the Kiir administration for more than three years.
“The Regime has created a highly selfish class that ensures its continued existence for the singular purpose of illicitly amassing personal and family wealth, and imposing tribal hegemony on the country,” said the statement
The new rebel group accuses Kiir’s administration of seizing power and property of the Dinka tribe at the expense of other ethnic groups that supported the country’s liberation from Sudan. It also accused the government of failing to provide basic services and neglecting agriculture.
According to Radio Tamazuj, the new group claimed that it believes in the rightful path of national co-existence, ideals of free, sovereign and democratically governed nations.
“Thus, with a clear conscience and with determination, we declare the birth of a citizen-imposed change,” partly reads the letter.
South Sudanese Defense Minister Kuol Manyang Juuk downplayed Cirillo’s accusations, saying they are inconsistent with what he called the government’s progress in implementing an August 2015 peace deal and ongoing work to bring peace to the country.
Kiir’s government has been promoting a “national dialogue” to resolve the country’s issues, and Manyang said that Cirillo will be given a chance to address his concerns if he wishes to participate.
General Cirillo was active during the liberation war with Sudan and is believed to command respect among his former army colleagues. He held various senior positions in the army and was deputy chief of staff for operations before resigning in February.
The South Sudan war, which erupted in December 2013, has killed tens of thousands and displaced more than 2 million people from their homes.