Home | News    Sunday 7 December 2014

Top S. Sudanese army general goes missing amid rising tensions in Juba

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December 6, 2014 (JUBA) – A high-ranking general in the South Sudanese army (SPLA) has remained unreachable for the past two days amid rising tensions and ongoing uncertainties in the capital, Juba.

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Soldiers from the South Sudanese army (SPLA) jump off the back of a truck while on patrol in the capital, Juba, following the December 2013 outbreak of violence (Photo: Reuters)

The circumstances under which Lieutenant General Thomas Cirilo went missing remain unclear and neither the government nor the leadership of the army has been able to make a public statement on the matter.

Security sources say they have made several attempts to make contact without success.

“Nobody knows where he is. People have gone to his residence several times and talked with the family members to find out whether there were family issues, but the family insists that they have never had a discussion over any issue, apart from normal talking. The family members and colleagues have unsuccessfully been trying his numbers, but he remains unreachable, which is now the cause of concern to everybody,” a security source said.

Meanwhile, multiple sources from Eastern Equatoria’s border town of Nimule told Sudan Tribune on Saturday that mounting tensions in the region had forced about 60 to 70% of the population to cross the border to Uganda, while others had come to Juba.

The majority of those leaving are believed to be from the Dinka tribe, to which president Salva Kiir hails, with only about 10% of the population remaining in the area.

“[The] security situation in Nimule is not as before. Nimule is almost a ghost town. There has been panic everywhere without a single bullet fired. People there are in fear that a fight could break out [at] anytime,” a senior member of the governing Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) from the area told Sudan Tribune.

“People are calling us here in Juba to find out what is happening because youth are deserting. When we ask the government, we are told there is nothing; everything is normal. But in reality, things are not normal. When local people refuse to go to town, it means there is something and the government should investigate and find out what is happening,” he added.

The border between Uganda and Nimule has reportedly been closed, with the government deploying soldiers to the area to stop people leaving.

“They tried to stop people, especially the locals (Madi) from crossing into Uganda. In fact, the border between the two countries is [now] closed,” the government official said.

Military sources say the government had moved its troops into the area to launch an operation against Martin Kenyi and his group, who are said to have established a base around Nimule.

This has sparked fears among the local population of an outbreak of violence.

Sources say Kenyi intends to disrupt traffic between Juba and Kampala, with the aim of blocking vital revenues and essential supplies from reaching South Sudan.

Kenyi was commander of the Equatoria Defence Force, the military wing of a political group associated with Theophilus Ochan Loti, who broke away from the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) at the height of the north-south civil war between 1983 and 2005.

Kenyi later became a member of the South Sudan Defence Force (SSDF), a group of armed forces operating in southern Sudan, aligned with the Sudanese government against the SPLM/A.

Last month, the SPLA claimed Kenyi was involved in a plot to form a rebellion parallel to that of the armed opposition led by the country’s former vice-president, Riek Machar.

The army claimed the group, comprising of disgruntled politicians and former militia, had appointed Kenyi as the overall commander, with its objective to fight for the separation of the Equatoria region from South Sudan.

The South Sudanese government has been locked in an armed struggle with pro-Machar rebel forces since a political feud within the SPLM turned violent last December.

The conflict initially erupted in the capital, Juba, before quickly spread to other areas, although Eastern Equatoria has remained largely unaffected.

(ST)

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  • 7 December 2014 07:54, by Mi diit

    Ahahaha...Machar’s forces are already in Nimule area. Uganda-South Sudan border will soon close. Run Dinka, run to Uganda. Soon there will be no food in Juba. Fuel shortage, currency exchange problems, etc.

    Welcome Deputy Chief of Staff Gen Thomas Cirino to freedom. They tried to kill you in Juba.

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    • 7 December 2014 08:38, by Chol A.

      @midiit done celebrates yet. There is nothing to be happy with because Cerilo cannot attemp to followed Dr.hopeless at all. If you remember your swearing about Kiir’s presidency than prepare to quit your nonesense comments because you have eights left.

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      • 7 December 2014 18:03, by Force 1

        Midiit
        Just stay hiding in Ethiopia, because that’s where you belong. You’ll hear the news from those two generals like the news of George Athoor.

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        • 7 December 2014 22:40, by Force 1

          Mi diit
          Now that the general missing or where about happened to be your propaganda; are you now ashamed that this incident was just cooked up by you Nuer rebels on Sudan tribune? If you can beat president Kiir by force then the propaganda is not going to win this war for you.

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    • 7 December 2014 09:16, by Toney Toney Matot

      Mi diit Aka James Gatdet Dak,
      even if you celebrate the where about of General Thomas Cirilo,you still a loser and far away from winning the war.also Thomas Cirilo is not Fool to Join Nyagat who have no objective but only wants to loot and killed innocent civilian.we are done with you my friend.

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      • 7 December 2014 16:31, by Mi diit

        Toney Toney Matot Aka Ateny Wek Ateny,
        even if you celebrate the where about of General Thomas Cirilo,you still a loser and far away from winning the war.also Thomas Cirilo is not Fool to Join drunkard slaves who have no objective but only wants to loot and killed innocent civilian.we are done with you my friend.

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  • 7 December 2014 08:05, by Son of Ngundeng

    Dear All:
    Juba regime will leave the country within some fews day coming if the big horn for Nyam Nyam was missing, Dinka government of mafia will not reach 2015 on power you will mark my wards one by one. The fool Dinka will fall in to the hand of really Naath and really Nyam Nyam. And those two days Mabuto Mamour he is going to follow his friend, Gum pook Gum Pook Yaa comrade, let us drive them.

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    • 7 December 2014 18:08, by Force 1

      Son of Ngundeng
      Did you forgot the lesson you learn when you try it in Juba on December 15, 2013? Did you hear Equatorians running to the borders for fear of their lives?

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  • 7 December 2014 08:06, by Son of Ngundeng

    Dear All:
    Juba regime will leave the country within some fews day coming if the big horn for Nyam Nyam was missing, Dinka government of mafia will not reach 2015 on power you will mark my wards one by one. The fool Dinka will fall in to the hand of really Naath and really Nyam Nyam. And those two days Mabuto Mamour he is going to follow his friend, Gum pook Gum Pook Yaa comrade, let us drive them.

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  • 7 December 2014 08:19, by Kur William

    There is nothing other than he had jointed Kenyi.If govt know where about Martin and then that might be a place he is in,so what goes around will come around Kenyi will lauch unpredictable attack,our gallant SPLA need to be on high alert on the side of the Nimeli road.We Dinka are target but no one will defeat us as long we are awares of malicious act toward our community.

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  • 7 December 2014 09:06, by Dengic

    Midiit and son of Ngundeng,good luck mates in your endeavor to clear all the Dinka tribe. But one thing is certain,a known sickness doesn’t kill. Last year, no body knew about your rebellion until of late. The Dinkas have known that they are target and won’t allow it again this year. SPLA is waiting for you guys, so come on now and capture juba. We are truly tied. JIENG AMEEN BAI KUA CIK LEU.

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  • 7 December 2014 11:30, by wang

    Kiir’s regime must be eradicated if all Southerners wanted to make this country as their home as they always call it. Those who think that this war is a Dr. Riek Machar war are not only fooling themselves but our entirety population. I myself, I am not fighting for Riek to be President, I took my gun because this govt in Juba leads by those few Nuer and Dinka elites are representing absolutely not

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  • 7 December 2014 11:31, by wang

    I myself, I am not fighting for Riek to be President, I took my gun because this govt in Juba leads by those few Nuer and Dinka elites are representing absolutely nothing to its citizens…

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    • 7 December 2014 13:37, by Kenyang

      Wang,
      What you mentioned is what average South Sudanese knows. SPLM led by our top, decorated liberators has failed to deliver better road, food, health, leadership...They chose stealing and building personal wealth over their people whom they just liberated. Dr. Riek Machar was vice President since 2006 and held almost all important posts including economic ’till his removal last yrs.

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      • 7 December 2014 14:05, by Kenyang

        Continue..
        All these yrs, Dr Riek Machar (who has been campaigning to replace Salva Kiir since 2006) is shown laughing satisfactory in every occasion, not a hind where Pres Kiir is failing or blocking him from doing good things to the nation. When he’s removed over legal power dispute, he want ahead plotting to grab power by force and now a rebel leader to attain that after failing.

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        • 7 December 2014 14:42, by Kenyang

          Continue...
          But here, individuals like you are now in armed with Riek Machar, a selfish thief who has directly been part of failure for last 10 years or do I need to mention 1991? Isn’t that what you want to see Riek your next president? No, South Sudan doesn’t need war to remove Salva Kiir. He was elected and must exit same way. Any other mean is more bloodshed, you can’t win war.

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      • 7 December 2014 17:48, by Joseph Canada

        Kenyang, if you see closely most of the top Decorated Generals are NOT those who fought in the 12yrs. They are those who fought against us in the side of Mudukur (Arabs) who are now in Power. We even shared our national power with Uganda. Kiir legitimacy as the first president have gone to hell!! he became less than Sadam and Gadhafi Combine.. He must go!!

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  • 7 December 2014 13:02, by mzalendo mwema

    Wang,Bauer & Mi diit,

    You are singing the same song you guys used to sing before December 2013.You incited your foolish Nuer warriors to make coup but all turned up in their asses on 15/12/2013.Now you want to use Equatorians to fight your senseless war because your foolish Nuer warriors aka white army are powerless.

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  • 7 December 2014 13:10, by mzalendo mwema

    Eastern,

    South Sudan will never fail.Those who are causing problems were traitors during our struggle.So they are nothing to Monyjang/Jieng or South Sudanese in general.They will come back like before and ask for forgiveness as usual.

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    • 7 December 2014 13:47, by Eastern

      Mwema, continue dreaming and hoping that all is well in South Sudan. Continue believing that it’s only the Dinka who have the right to take up arms against a sitting government. You will be rudely awoken.

      Continue to hide behind your new found Kiswahili name so that you continue to get some some in the country you are hiding in dude. The jungles of Equatoria are rattling ideas of change!

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      • 7 December 2014 14:52, by Toney Toney Matot

        Eastern,
        Since you rebels are wishing for the destruction of South Sudan so that you achieved your selfish greediness, we shall also work harder to weaken you and be a failure as it has happen in 1991.there is nothing you are fighting for but only wants to lead.if the destruction is the best option for you guy then we are ready for it.

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      • 7 December 2014 15:22, by Kenyang

        Eastern,

        You sound naive. Who told you SPLA is not aware about running around of former traitors and opportunists?

        SPLA defeat these traitors before right in Equatoria. Nothing will be new.

        In fact, big mouths like yourself were here before preaching nonesense only to later cry....

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        • 7 December 2014 17:33, by Eastern

          Kenyang, where is my naivity in sending my message clear to you dinkocrats. I made it clear that fighting a sitting government to correct ills is not the preserve of dinkas only. SPLA was not unique to fight the successive Sudanese regimes. Kirr’s government will be fought to rid the country of tyrannical rule!!

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          • 8 December 2014 05:29, by Kenyang

            Once one talk big about war in South Sudan, it tell little about you. Your enemy, (Dinkacrats) know war and sure you will not miss them-worry you will cry victim like some who are now. As for our great Equatorians, they don’t need Riek 2nd barberic war anywhere in their lands. To separate Equatoria, one needs no war but first to educate rest of Equatorians and South Sudanese why must this.

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  • 7 December 2014 17:34, by Bolong

    Continue,
    and much more to prove. Nobody want to be close to you people. Do not deceives yourselves all the times and wish for something will not happen. Hope for on going peace.

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  • 7 December 2014 19:27, by Bolong

    Very Big shame to hopeless folks on this board.

    News,

    General Tomas Cirilo arrived at Juba after a visit to ***.

    sorry folks, keep dreaming.

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  • 7 December 2014 19:42, by Black Africa

    Self-determination for Great Equatorians now or Kiir regime will face The Great Equatoria Resistance Army Forces.

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  • 7 December 2014 19:42, by Black Africa

    Self-determination for Great Equatorians now or Kiir regime will face The Great Equatoria Resistance Army Forces.

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    • 7 December 2014 22:36, by Force 1

      Black Africa
      self-determination of Equatoria don’t happened on the internet but you bleed and die for it. If you can afford 20 years of guerrilla war and more than 2 million death of equatorians then you’re highly welcome to do that.

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  • 8 December 2014 01:33, by Black Africa

    Force 1
    We Great Equatorians we were the first people to go to bush and we spent seventeen years in the bush during Anyanya one for your sake. second, during SPLA movement your all land was under jalaby control but Equatorians land was under Equatorian Warriors that why SPLA/M survive today because of Equatorians, that’s the fact.

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    • 8 December 2014 06:32, by Kenyang

      Black African,
      Not to reduce great contributions and generousity of our people in greater Equatoria. But when one hear you rattling these nonsenses only those with little can think you’re knowledgable. Not only are records there, some here were eyewitnesses. SPLA was highly well organized, we know exactly who, what battalion mostly from where captured/stationed Chukudum, Maridi, Kaya, Yambio etc.

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      • 8 December 2014 07:09, by Kenyang

        No need for big claims when South Sudan martyrs should be thanked.

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        • 8 December 2014 12:56, by Black Africa

          Kenyang,
          I got no time for you right now but you better shut up.

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  • 8 December 2014 01:34, by Black Africa

    Cont.
    Let me tell you something so that you can understand clear. The Uganda Army force came to South Sudan not because of Kiir regime but they came to rescue the life of Equatorians, to proof to you that is true, see the way the Ugandans people treat Equatorians in Uganda, they are treated with dignity and respect because the see them as brothers and sisters but you no.

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  • 8 December 2014 01:34, by Black Africa

    Cont,
    So now we can talk to museveni as a brother to pull is forces out of south sudan and we will see how are you guys are going to defense yourselves. Only Nuer Warriors will clear you guys out of south sudan and we will go inside Uganda and Kenya door to door to eliminate you guys out of the history of the world.

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  • 8 December 2014 01:34, by Black Africa

    Cont,
    Now if the war start in Equatoria land, Kiir regime for the first month will kill enough Equatorians but after that the genocide that happen in Rwanda is enough, what will go to happen will be something that have never happen in history human kind . So this’s WARMING to kiir regime ! Don’t mess with the people of Great Equatorians.

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