High-ranking rebel commander abandons Cirilo, joins Khalid Butrus

Leader of NAS-Peace faction Gen. Khalid Butrus Bora, right, greeting Brigadier Evan Simon Lo Juan, left, during a meeting in Juba on Tuesday (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

February 6th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – A high-ranking rebel commander loyal to the National Salvation Front (NAS) leader, Gen. Thomas Cirilo, defected on Tuesday to the peace faction led by Gen. Khalid Butrus Bora citing what he calls “unjustified” rejection of peace deal by Thomas Cirilo.

Brigadier Evan Simon Lo Juan said in a statement extended to the Nyamilepedia that he believe there are no reasons to continue waging war when there is already a peace agreement in place.

“I Brigadier Evan Simon Lo Juan, Head of Mobilization for National Salvation Front (NAS) in Kajo-Keji, together with a force of 35 officers NCOs and men, do hereby declare our defection from NAS-Thomas Cirilo to join NAS-for-Peace under General Khalid Butrus,” he said in the statement extended to the Nyamilepedia.

“The reason for my defection is because I see no reason to continue fighting and make our people suffer when there is already a peace agreement. We therefore denounces war and join the rest of the peace-loving South Sudanese in the implementation of the [revitalized] peace agreement,” he added.

For his part, the spokesman for the National Salvation Front (NAS) faction led by Gen. Khalid Butrus, Jacob Lado Paul, welcomed Lo Juan describing it as the right decision in the right time.

“Your decision to join a peace loving movement is wisely in place and in  right time that your beloved innocent people are in desperate search of peace and decent lives,” he said in a statement extended to the Nyamilepedia.

The National Salvation Front  (NAS) split into two in September last year after its leader Gen. Thomas Cirilo decided to pull out of peace agreement after failing to convince the IGAD mediation to incorporate his demands ranging from the number of states  and teh question of federalism into a then proposed peace agreement.