By Gen. Thomas Cirillo Swaka,
Salute and salutations;
July 3, 2021 — I salute you and extend my warm revolutionary greetings to all of you, on this historic day of the inauguration of the NAS Salvation Council. As we inaugurate this important legislative and political organ of your movement, the National Salvation Front, I pay special tribute to honour our colleague, a member of this August house, late Ambassador James Ojoch and our fallen heroes and heroines; the martyrs who have made ultimate heroic sacrifices while defending the lives, rights, freedom and dignity of our people.
I salute our gallant NAS soldiers all over South Sudan who are selflessly defending our people from violent aggressions by the forces of the dictatorial regime in Juba. I also take this opportunity to salute all our NAS members and all our people wherever they may be.
Today the National Salvation Front NAS, has reached another milestone, in building its structures and institutions so as to be able to achieve its mission and objectives which has been well articulated in its vision and ideology document. This important organ of the movement, the NAS Salvation Council is today being inaugurated as we commence the fifth year of our struggle.
The inauguration of the NAS Salvation Council is yet another timely and important revolutionary step in the struggle to rescue our people and achieve their aspirations. History has chosen you, the members of this August House, the first NAS Salvation Council, to shoulder the mantle of leadership to guide the movement and indeed your people at this crucial juncture. The task at hand is not only enormous but also very crucial.
The inauguration of the NAS Salvation Council today is a challenge for all of you members to commit yourselves to be the vanguards of our people’s struggle for freedom, justice and dignified life. I congratulate each and every one of you for accepting to take up this noble responsibility as members of the first NAS Salvation Council for the liberation of our people.
Ten years ago the people of South Sudan came out en mass and voted for freedom from bondage, subjugation and oppression in a referendum to determine their future. They came out in their diverse ethnic groups yet united by common dreams and hopes of freedom, stability, justice, prosperity and the uphold of the dignity of all. They had dreams that finally they were going to live as equal citizens of a country of their own. They believed that it was the chance to put an end to subjugation and hegemony by one group of people on the whole country. They had dreams that their children and grandchildren were going to have it better once they deliver a country of their own.
Ten years down the line, those great dreams and high hopes have been shattered and squashed by the very leaders on whom they had entrusted their fate and that of their children. Today the people of South Sudan who voted in a referendum to deliver their country are subjected to a situation worse than during the time of the old Sudan.
The celebrations of the independence of South Sudan, delivered through a referendum, has been turned into tears, grief and misery. The leaders of the SPLM regime have thrown the country into chaos, poverty, death and destruction due to the pursuit of the same policies of subjugation and marginalisation that the people of South Sudan fought against for decades until they delivered their own country.
South Sudan has now become a theatre of endless ethnic conflicts orchestrated by the regime to keep the people fighting each other while their dangerous policies and the status quo continues. The SPLM regime has created a reign of tenor, killings, and rapes. looting, burning of villages and mass displacement of the same people they had claimed to be fighting to liberate. The SPLM regime has failed to deliver basic services of health, education and others to the people.
The regime has mortgaged the future of South Sudan to foreign countries hence condemning future generations of South Sudanese to debts and abject poverty.
But all hope is not lost dear compatriots and people of South Sudan. The people of South Sudan will not surrender to this regime and its ethno-centric and kleptocratic policies.
It is through you the leaders here today that the people of South Sudan will rise up again just as they rose up decades ago to put an end to their suffering, misery and hopelessness. The National Salvation Front will continue to wage the struggle to rescue the country and people of South Sudan from the abyss into which the country has been thrown until the oppressors are defeated and the victory of the people is secured and cemented.
Our country South Sudan is at the brink of total collapse and fragmentation, as a result of the bad and destructive policies that the SPLM regime has been implementing since it took over power; policies which have resulted in the on-going conflict in the country. The SPLM-led regime has failed the people and country and shattered the fabric of our society.
The National Salvation Front has diagnosed the conflict in South Sudan and has come to the conclusion that sustainable peace is not far-fetched but can only be achieved if and when the root causes of the conflict in the country are addressed once and for all. NAS believes that unless the following root causes of the conflict are addressed, South Sudan will not be in peace. The root causes of the conflict in South Sudan include among others:
- The SPLM-led regime has failed to forge a common South Sudanese National Identity that is inclusive of all ethnicities in the country.
- The SPLM-led regime is perpetuating ethnic hegemony and political marginalisation through dual policies of empowering one ethnic group at the expense of all other ethnic groups, excluding them from full participation in the political, economic and social life of the nation.
- The SPLM regime lacks the Political will for Good and Inclusive Governance. This has resulted in a lack of strong institutions of government that are necessary for a viable state.
- The SPLM regime has deliberately undermined the independence of the judicial power of the state thus encouraging impunity and creating lack of justice and accountability. This has led to anarchy in the country.
- The deliberate undemocratic imposition of a centralised system of governance by the SPLM regime, depriving the people of South Sudan from managing their own affairs and building their country, including the establishing of a federal system of governance, which has been their historical demand.
- The creation of a repressive ethnically dominated security sector which has been used for killings, oppressing, intimidating the voices of the people, advancing ethno – political objectives and maintaining the status quo in power.
- The SPLM regime is pursuing a policy of Ethno-political territorial occupation and land grabbing which is designed, encouraged and protected by the regime to achieve demographic change with the intention of ethnic cleansing, domination and control of natural resources.
- The SPLM regime is engaged in blatant disregard of progressive development policies and constitution development. There is no national development policy and strategy that puts the country on the course of development to improve the livelihood of our people.
- The SPLM regime is promoting corruption, mismanagement of public resources and creating a kleptocracy in South Sudan.
- The SPLM leaders have failed to govern the country to achieve peace, stability, development and prosperity for the people of South Sudan.
- The SPLM government elites have hijacked and converted institutions, assets, business, and character of the State to ethnic and family consortiums of the SPLM-led government officials elites.
It is for these reasons, dear compatriots, that NAS and our people took up arms to liberate themselves and the country from this kleptocratic system. The people of South Sudan have rejected these policies of the SPLM regime and have decided to rise up and resist the regime through revolutionary struggle led by patriotic South Sudanese.
The National Salvation Front has just released a document entitled: Vision for an Inclusive Modern South Sudan outlining the vision, mission objectives and programmes ofNAS for South Sudan. The document provides our solutions to these ills brought on the country by the SPLM regime.
Since its launch on 6th March 2017, NAS has been facing great challenges over the years but has consistently kept the path of liberation and emerged victorious; surmounting each and every one of those challenges. The National Salvation Front is growing by each passing day and has now become a formidable political force in the South Sudan political arena. Your movement has a membership of hundreds ol thousands who are drawn from farmers in the rural areas, workers in urban areas, youth, students, women, intellectuals of various disciplines, refugees in neighbouring countries and indeed members of the South Sudanese diaspora all over the world. This is because NAS is for the people and by the people.
History has today bestowed on you, members of the Salvation Council, the responsibility and obligation to rescue your people and country. The National Salvation Front has tasked you with the responsibility to represent the movement and our people in different parts of our country and the world to lead in the struggle to emancipate them and restore their dignity. This task demands of you great sacrifice, self-discipline, courage and resolve.
In you, our suffering people see the reason to have hope for a better tomorrow. In you, they see the South Sudan they had aspired for. In you, they see a better future lbr their children, grandchildren and generations to come. The National Salvation Front is a people-centred movement that has nothing but the aspirations of the people at heart and is a revolution that can never be wished away but is here to stay. The National Salvation Front will continue to surmount every difficulty and weather every storm that comes its way until total liberation and sustainable peace is achieved.
As we people regime commit ourselves and vow to continue the struggle to rescue and save our from the subjugation of the oppressive and dictatorial policies of the SPLM and its clique in Juba, the National Salvation Front Leadership would like to the following:
- The National Salvation Front (NAS) will continue in its struggle for freedom, justice, democracy and the restoration of dignity of the people of South Sudan until these are achieved and the aspirations of the people of South Sudan are realized.
- The National Salvation Front will defend the people of South Sudan, especially the civil population who are being subjected to heinous atrocities of killings, rapes! mass displacement and disappearances by the regime in Juba.
- The National Salvation Front will complete its structures so as to effectively and efficiently carry out its mandate to realize the vision, mission and objectives of the movement.
- The National Salvation Front will continue to engage in credible political negotiations to bring about sustainable peace through addressing the root causes of the conflict in the country.
- NAS will work closely and tirelessly with its allies in the South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA) to strengthen the alliance to achieve sustainable peace.
- The National Salvation Front will intensify its diplomatic work to reach out and present the issues of the conflict in South Sudan to the International Community, the region, Africa and the rest of the world.
- The National Salvation Front will engage with civil society groups, faith- based groups, and other like-minded political forces in the country who are working to bring about a better and brighter future for the people of South Sudan.
- The National Salvation Front will continue its political mobilization to rally the people for the struggle and will empower its members to lead the movement to achieve its vision, mission and objectives.
- The National Salvation Front will institute civil authority in the liberated areas under its control so as to deliver services to the civil population.
- The National Salvation Front will continue to evaluate its performance and strive to always do better as it continues with its revolutionary duties.
As members of the Salvation Council, the movement and people of South Sudan expect you to take up your responsibilities and assignments with the mind-set of true patriots. The members of this August house are expected to be selfless and exemplary leaders of integrity whom our people will have confidence in and emulate. The National Salvation Front and all members expect from you sacrifices for the movement, in order to achieve its vision, mission, objectives and programs. You the members, sitting in this Salvation Council today, are expected to be servants of the people, serving the movement and our people and should not expect to be served. You will be tasked with the responsibility of developing national policy on various issues and table them to the Council for deliberation and approval. The tenure of membership of the Salvation Council shall be two (2) years from the date of the appointment of its members. Membership in the council is not a permanent seat but a revolutionary responsibility assigned to you for the next (2) two years after which any members may be tasked with different responsibilities and assignments of the struggle.
I urge you to serve diligently and to the best of your ability. The Interim Secretariat of the Council will for the time being guide you in the work of the council. A committee will be appointed to develop the business rules and regulations of the Salvation Council, which will be the first law to be approved by the Council.
The members of the National Salvation Front and the people of South Sudan have high expectations from you and rightfully so. You must be examples of the CHANGE that NAS and our people aspires for; in your conduct, integrity and hard work, guided by the NAS Code of Ethics and Conduct.
As members of the Salvation Council you are expected to use the NAS document: Vision for an Inclusive Modern South Sudan to help you raise awareness on what NAS stands for, and work hard to bring change to South Sudan, based on the vision and ideology outlined in this document.
The time of nation-building starts now with you in creating a Modern South Sudan. Each one of you needs to contribute to this work of nation-building and be an effective member of the Salvation Council Committees that will be formed.
Let us march together forward to implement the objectives and programmes of NAS based on our shared values. Together we will achieve sustainable peace, stability and prosperity for the people of South Sudan.
Once again, I congratulate you for earning the trust of the National Salvation Front to serve as members of the NAS Salvation Council. Be Resolute and Courageous. NAS will be victorious and South Sudan will rise again!
I now declare the NAS Salvation Council officially inaugurated. God bless you and God bless South Sudan.
NAS Guwa! People
Chairman and Commander-in-Chief National Salvation Front/Army (NAS)