March 26, 2017(Nyamilepedia) —– The Commander of SPLM/A-IO General Headquarters of Equatoria Region, Lt. Gen. John Jok Gai, held a meeting with Lt. Gen. Thomas Cirillo Swaka, the former deputy Chief of Staff of SPLM/A-IG for logistic, and wants to clarify the position of Gen. Cirillo.
“This serves to inform all South Sudanese in the country and the diaspora that Lt. Gen. Thomas Cirillo Swaka of the newly formed NAS is not in any way in problem with SPLM/A-IO as many people have speculated.” Said Lt. Gen. John Jok Gai.
According to their discussion, Lt. Gen. Jok established that Gen. Cirillo is replacing Hon. Abdurrahman Sule and Maj. Gen. Elias, two senior politicians who were kidnapped and assassinated by Salva Kiir’s security forces in Uganda.
“The party he is running now was already under SPLM/A, headed by Hon. Abdurrahman Sule and Maj. Gen. Elias who were assassinated in Uganda in 2015 by South Sudan National Security. They were assassinated in the name of SPLM/A-IO.” Lt. Gen. Jok clarifies.
Lt. Gen. Jok met and held discussions with Gen. Cirillo on March 9th, 2017 in Addis Ababa. He believes they had a fruitful discussion!
“Therefore, I, Lt. Gen. John jok Gai, SPLA-IO Commander of the Equatoria Region had a fruitful discussion with Lt. Gen. Thomas Cirillo Swaka in Ethiopia on the 9th March 2017 at 6:30 pm.” The general continued.
According to Lt. Gen. Jok Gai, the renegade general, Thomas Cirillo, fears that the SPLA-IO and their supporters are running a negative campaign that may ends his life like that of Lt. Gen. Gabriel Tanginye.
“During the conversation, Lt. Gen. Thomas Cirillo assured me that what had happened to Maj. Gen. Tanginya (Gatwich Chan) in Upper Nile region can and should not repeat itself in Equatoria region.” Lt. Gen. Jok said.
Intervening, Gen. Gai calls on all South Sudanese to give Gen. Cirillo some political space.
Gen. Gai calls on supporters to stop negative propaganda that may derails working relationships between Thomas Cirillo and SPLM/A-IO.
“In light of the aforesaid, SPLA-IO calls upon all South Sudanese to stop any negative propaganda aimed at creating wrong image of the relationship between Lt. Gen. Thomas Cirillo Swaka and SPLM/A-IO.” Said Gen. Gai.
Lt. Gen. John Jok Gai, was appointed by Dr. Machar in July 2016 as a sector commander of Central Equatoria to lead the SPLA-IO forces in volatile Equatoria.
For the last 8 months, Lt. Gen. Jok has established headquarters for the rebels within Central Equatoria as more defections from Juba continue to join him.
Unlike other defections by senior commanders, Gen. Thomas Cirillo resigned and defected to exile without an army.
Since his defection, Gen. Cirillo has negatively campaigned against SPLM/A-IO leader, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, and tried to mobilize supporters of SPLM/A-IO in the field and in diaspora to join him.
In his latest article to South Sudanese in Diaspora, Lt. Gen Thomas Cirillo, focused his blames on Salva Kiir government and politics of ethnicity to reduce friction with SPLM/A-IO and other opposition groups, however, many supporters of the armed oppositions continued to shunt that “you are either with us or with the enemy”.