OPINION: General Cirilo Heroically Takes Western Capitals by Storm But at What Cost Closer Home?

By Deng Vanang,

Gen. Thomas Cirillo Swaka greeting members of Equatorian community after briefing them in Omaha Nebraska(Photo: file/Nyamilepedia)

Gen. Thomas Cirillo Swaka greeting members of Equatorian community after briefing them in Omaha Nebraska(Photo: file/Nyamilepedia)

Oct 21st, 2018(Nyamilepedia) — A month ago, Thomas Cirilo the army General bolted out of the Khartoum peace deal guns blazing into the waiting arms of extremist rebel factions.

Among them, but not limited to enthusiastically fire breathing armchair Revolutionaries, radical Reformists, regional Federalists and ethnic Republicans.

He termed the deal a foreign creation short of addressing causes at the roots of conflict.

With those remaining beholden to the agreement being lambasted by him and Co. as people hungrily obsessed with long lost power trappings.

The vitriolic charges formed part of his opinion as a new kid on the block in rough and tumbles of South Sudanese bloody politics.

Christened with a status of a green horn in this tricky game of acrobatic politics is all that his erstwhile allies he accused of getting compromised can afford to smear him dirty.

His new rivals in SSOA and old one in SPLM-IO are not however new to current political dynamics he helped foment.

They have travelled the same path before and learned their lessons in a tougher way including this conflict right from its beginning and into which were sucked a number of interest groups angling for a change from different strategic angles.

The dejected members of the ruling party, SPLM hoped change of guards in J1 Palace would relaunch them back to mouthwatering dining table.

Political opposition parties believed the chaos could resultantly bring in a national unity government to put every Nick and Harry aboard the floating chip.

For the non-confirmed liberation war heroes and cattle herders was a God-send opportunity to retool and grab a piece from hotly contested national cake.

Not to be left out too were green card armadas more than willing to re-invent into formidable post-war government functionaries.

The whole mixed bag of disenchanted groups eventually bounced back to the spot they were in the beginning and worse off more than ever, besides licking festered wounds and counting unimaginable losses.

Worst still, is the shilling memory of CPA in 2005 decorated General Cirilo and his followers is worth learning from.

During that fateful era, Northern rebels were left yawning angrily and hungrily on the fringes of newly found political dispensations.

The rebels were our very own SPLM-North, JEM and SLM splinter factions in Darfur on the one hand.

And on the other was the paper tiger ‘’The Just Peace Forum (JPF) headed by Al Tayeb Mustafa, a veteran NCP figure and President Bashir’s maternal uncle.

It was a radically Islamist and increasingly autonomous splinter party of the ruling NCP.

It appeared on the political stage as a vociferous critic of the CPA soon after its signing by the NCP and the SPLM in 2005.

Its main forum is the best-selling daily paper Intibaha, known to be notorious for its aggressive rhetoric.

The JPF advocated for the partition of Sudan on the grounds that north and south constitute irreconcilable poles – racially, religiously, culturally and politically – and voiced the fear that the SPLM might eventually dominate the country.

The most daring of them was strong headed Khalil’s led JEM faction that went some extra-miles in trying to capture State’s capital Khartoum from which to form a government in midst April, 2008.

Dire consequences were so huge as they were fought back by both sworn foes and expected allies as respectively none other than NCP in federal government and SPLM faction in autonomous South.

The marriage of convenience between the duo was hurriedly crafted from common fear for the publicly known reasons.

A victorious JEM in power in Khartoum could have messed up the independence quest for Southern SPLM/A faction and upheld once vigorously detested unequal unity of the country.

While NCP could lose something more than just power trappings in the North to the black Africans’ dominated JEM’s government.

Loss of Arab centuries old multifaceted dominance in politics, economy, culture and Islamic radicalism was too lined up for the U-turn, if not a total political eclipse.

Out of this shell chocked experience, JEM alike Northern political opposition was further afield driven into an irrelevance by mortally wounded NCP’s red berets in charge ever since June, 1989.

But for Cirilo and co. unlike the above mentioned perennial losers there exists some glitter of hope not to travel the same long route and end up nowhere.

Since they have an inherent potential to mold into the proverbial Trojan horse’s devastating effects and subsequently install the desired federalist democratic state with likeminded political affiliates.

If only they abandon the current aim which is a long shot away from the intended target.

For instead of fighting five fronts to eventually lose, they must opt for just two and eventually win.

SSOA’s pro-peace faction, Machar’s IO, Kiir’ IG, Museveni’s UPDF and joint forces of upcoming transitional government are the five formidable fronts facing them right now and in very near future.

While the current front of facing Kiir’s IG and one last front in case transitional government falls apart could be only two the holdout group shall cost effectively face with the rest against any future violator.

Deng Vanang is a Secretary for Information, Public Relations and Spokesperson for Federal Democratic Party/South Sudan Armed Forces, FDP/SSAF. He is cordially reachable at: dvanang@gmail.com