December 6th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – Forces of the National Salvation Front (NAS) led by Gen. Thomas Cirilo Swaka are disappearing in the Equatoria region joinging previous hostile forces of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO) led by the country’s former First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon, high-ranking aides to Cirilo and several sources on the ground told the Nyamilepedia on Wednesday.
Other reports reaching the Nyamilepedia also suggested that some of Cirilo’s forces are joining the rival faction of the NAS led by Gen. Khalid Butrus due to fear of a possible attack by rival forces of the government and that of the SPLA-IO, both of whom are signatories of the revitalized agreement.
Gen. Khalid Butrus’s faction is a member of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) faction of Gabriel Changson Chang which is also a signatory to the revitalized agreement signed in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa in September.
Cirilo’s faction is not a signatory to the agreement and has since pulled out of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) following his decision to reject the peace agreement signed by fellow colleague in the SSOA, government and the SPLM-IO citing refusal by the mediation to find a solution for issues like the question of federalism and the number of states during the transitional period.
Following the refusal by Cirilo to sign the agreement, the South Sudan government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) led by Dr. Riek Machar Teny threatened Gen. Thomas Cirilo to either join the agreement or to risk a join military operation by the two parties.
Speaking to the Nyamilepedia on Wednesday from Khartoum, a senior opposition figure allied to Gen. Thomas Cirilo said the decline of the forces might be attributed to fears that the government and the SPLA-IO may attack the NAS-TC in the Equatoria region.
“This might be because they are as if they are vulnerable now. They might fear the risk of the planned join military operation by the two anti-peace elements led by Kiir and Riek,” the senior opposition figure told the Nyamilepedia from the Sudanese capital Khartoum.
The opposition figure who requested not to be named further urged the government and the SPLM-IO to respect the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (COHA) signed in December 2017 in Addis Ababa.
The government and the SPLA-IO suspended a join military operation against NAS in the Central Equatoria to force NAS out of the area or compel him to accept peace.