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South Sudanese president grants rebel leader amnesty

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September 4, 2017 (JUBA) - South Sudan president Salva Kiir has granted amnesty to Thomas Cirilo Swaka, a former military general who quit the Juba government in March to form a rebel movement.

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Lt. Gen. Thomas Cirino Swaka, the ex-SPLA deputy chief of general staff for training (youtube photo)

The presidential adviser on military affairs, Daniel Awet Akot said it was now up to the Swaka to accept and respond to the pardon.

“Cirilo has been granted amnesty by the president and we hope he will respond. The issues he raised will be addressed through the national dialogue”, Akot said on Monday.

The aide further was the rebel leader was free to rejoin the country’s ruling party (SPLM) or form his political party as provided for in the constitution to “enhance pluralism and democracy in the country”.

In March, Swaka, a former deputy chief of staff for logistics, formed a new rebel group, opposed to the Juba regime under President Kiir.

Swaka, who now heads the National Salvation Front (NAS), quit the military, accusing its leadership of running the army on ethnic lines.

“The National Salvation Front (NAS) is convinced that to restore sanity and normalcy in our country, Kiir must go, he must vacate the office without further bloodshed,” he partly wrote in a six page letter.

The former army official vowed to ensure all means are used to restore law, order and ensure respect for human rights in the country.

“It is in this spirit of dedication to the cause of our people that I, General Thomas Cirillo Swaka, on behalf of the National Salvation Front, solemnly declare the launching of the National Salvation Front (NAS) on this 6th Day of March, 2017,” further noted Swaka’s letter.

He also claimed the country was dominated by Dinka tribe and the army turned into a tribal militia that "targets non-Dinka ethnicities".

Last month, South Sudan released at least 30 political prisoners following an amnesty President Kiir had declared in May to facilitate the national dialogue initiative created to reconcile warring parties.

Analysts say the move to free the former political detainees without any pre-condition demonstrated Kiir’s determination to resolve the country’s civil war.

South Sudan has experienced violence since December 2013 when political disagreements between President Kiir and the nation’s former First Vice-President saw the nation split along ethnic lines.

Tens of thousands of people have died and over two million displaced in South Sudan’s worst ever violence since its independence.

(ST)

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  • 4 September 21:00, by conservative

    Ok now who else didn’t forum rebels yet or their own party to create more mess because of presidency everyone’s now days wants to be president it can’t move us forward in this way

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    • 5 September 07:18, by Midit Mitot

      Wulululuulu Amnesty to Thomas Cirilo,They need to appease him to come to South Sudan and slaughtered him later on like a goat in Juba.

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  • 4 September 21:19, by john locke

    Kiir is a moron. And i applaud swaka for leaving such a decaying government who hunts its own people like animals. Kiir just reassured the nation that no dinka will ever be put in a leadership role.

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    • 4 September 22:20, by john akeen

      Sometimes I been thinking about those people who comments a negative comment on this website if they are South Sudanese people. Sometimes I ask myself if those people who are comments a negative comments about South Sudanese people can stop hating South Sudanese people, if they’re South Sudanese, why they can’t work hurt for peace to in the country?

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      • 4 September 22:37, by john akeen

        why you don’t want Thomas Cirilo to come serve the country nation? why do you want Thomas Cirilo to serve Rebels if rebellion in the country can destroy things in the country?

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    • 5 September 00:37, by Mr. Right

      john locke,
      Critically look at this excerpt from the article: “HE ALSO CLAIMED THE COUNTRY WAS DOMINATED BY DINKA TRIBE” and the army turned into a tribal militia that "targets non-Dinka ethnicities."

      If you meticulously analyze Mr. Swaka’s statement as reported above by Sudan Tribune, then the guy is doomed for life.

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      • 5 September 00:39, by Mr. Right

        Mediocre leaders of such nature together with their zealots like you have no place in this country because of your subversive ideas against citizens rather than government(s).

        Given that Swaka ascended to power due to representation rather than exquisite military-prowess in combat, his unit in the military had been impeding the progress of the army for years.

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        • 5 September 00:47, by Mr. Right

          With his low military astute and tactical operation despite years of service in the military, the donkey was no longer accommodated and hauled to procurement unit.

          Imagine after he rebelled, he went to Yei to mobilize kakwoa and the rest but they resisted. Humiliated and embarrassed by their response as if he was not that hyped Swaka of procurement in the army. He was baffled by their response.

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          • 5 September 00:52, by Mr. Right

            It was simple, “why don’t you start with your people/Bari in Juba?” I think he will rot in hell, I can put my money on it. Only an idiot like Kiir would accept that amnesty and Swaka can fit in perfectly.

            Now, Mr. locke, do you believe such a guy would form a rebellion let alone leading it? Forming a movement is not just on paper, idiot.

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            • 5 September 00:57, by Mr. Right

              You need a heart and mind based on fundamental values of freedom, equality, and justice. You and your master espouse for lame-disguised values that would not liberate South Sudanese from current woes. I just pity you and Swaka for your creator has deprived you of capabilities and qualities.

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              • 5 September 07:35, by Eastern

                Are you done with your incoherent rant? Thomas Cirilo doesn’t need any amnesty from the tribal cabal in Juba. Wait and see the outcome of the failed Kakwa mobilisation you alluded to....

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                • 5 September 08:20, by South South

                  Eastern,

                  Thomas Cirilo should take this opportunity and come back to Juba. He can form his own party or he can join SPLM and be a good leader rather than sitting in a hotel in Ethiopia. Good for president Kiir for extending his hands to Thomas Cirilo.

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                  • 5 September 10:56, by jubaone

                    South South,
                    Thomas Cirillo, a professional and distinguished military officer cant just jump onto worthless jienge overtures and come back. No. Does the Kiirminal know how hard it was for Gen Cirillo to get out? He helped build the SPLA, then came NCP/NIF jienge latecomers and infiltrators from Khartoum and messed up the SPLA. No. Gen Cirillo has to fight first b4 he returns.

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                    • 5 September 13:51, by South South

                      jubaone,
                      I do believe Thomas Cirillo will listen to the voice of wisdom. He needs to come back to Juba. SPLA started in 1983, Thomas Cirillo was there at that time.

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                  • 5 September 12:55, by Eastern

                    South South,

                    South Sudan IS NOT READY for political parties. SPLM as an entity is fighting with itself how will the fight get if it becomes inter party? Now that you know Cirilo is in a hotel in Ethiopia and Dr. Machar in South Africa, why can’t you folks forget of any South Sudanese leader outside the Kiir-Taban alliance and continue lying to the world...?

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                    • 5 September 13:54, by South South

                      Eastern,

                      Please do not use word lie in your comments because you number person who lying to his teeth everyday.South Sudan belongs to all tribes of South Sudan, Thomas Cirillo is a South Sudanese, that why we want him back, Riek, no, he will come back only when he denounces violence.

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                  • 5 September 20:53, by jubaone

                    South South,
                    Let the Kiirminal first free Malong the fugitive from house arrest and let him go to Aweil, then we can imagine the Kiirminal’s sincerity. Otherwise just jienge bullshitting.

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                • 5 September 09:08, by Mr. Right

                  Wait? Did you say wait….? Keep fantasying Mr. Eastern. I hope he doesn’t heel to that amnesty like a dog eventually.

                  Kakwoa mobilization wasn’t a double-entendre unless you’re hiding in that popular camp.

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                  • 5 September 13:05, by Eastern

                    Miss Wrong,

                    Cirilo was born a servant or of an absentee father! If he understands the word HEEL, he would probably be called LODI’YONG or something like Taban, etc..Your "sharp Kakawa boys" were able to hoodwink the Taban-Kiir alliance where money changed hands and the situation in Yei River county remained dare. There’s no double entendre here. The Kiir-Taban alliance is fallacy ad hominem....

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                    • 5 September 20:07, by Mr. Right

                      Eastern,
                      “Cirilo was born a servant…...!” It’s explicitly clear now that someone is embedded in delusion.

                      Now listen hard street boy, Thomas couldn’t serve vulnerable girls and women left to the disposal of Jallabas for comfort not long ago. Grasp that and engrained it in your little brain. If Yei is in havoc as such, why is Thomas not exploiting it then?

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                • 5 September 11:05, by jubaone

                  Eastern,
                  With the fugitive Malong now parked like a V8 unable to move, the nyors are slowly disintegrating. The RPF/UN is getting deployed and IO forces in Equatoria are making progress. Kiirminal fears once NAS gets the logistics, then Juba is completely cutoff. Terrible feeling. His hope is renegade nyagateens under Taban Gai (aka Mohammed Hassan Alhaj Siddiq)and a handful of former arrow boys.

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                  • 5 September 13:10, by Eastern

                    jubaone,

                    The Nyors are a nightmare to us here in Munuki Suk Militia and Suk Libya during day and night. You can a cup of jabana or eat in the roadside eateries in peace without a self demobilised Mathiang Anyor presenting to you his grievances...This morning, I was harassed twice when driving in Hai Malakal/Konyo Konyo area...

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                    • 5 September 13:48, by South South

                      Eastern,,Please stop lying, you are an old and you should respect yourself. You are in USA, period.

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                      • 5 September 14:26, by Eastern

                        South South,

                        I have never been in the US; that country was left to Sudanese jenge, for lack of better words!I am in Juba, fighting Kiir from within; thats what Cirilo just did in the 90s...You can’t have it both ways. You should learnt to complete your statements, idiot...!

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                        • 5 September 14:36, by South South

                          Eastern,

                          We can go back to our old days where I used to teach you a few sentnces in English. You are almost mentally retared.

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                          • 5 September 14:56, by Eastern

                            South South,

                            Which version of the English language do you even know? Where you miserably failed to understand the difference between learnt and learned? Think of something else. You dinkas are shameless indeed...!

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                            • 5 September 20:53, by Mr. Right

                              Eastern,
                              Do you think you are that proficient in English language, ha? Unless you are English, you can never show-off no matter how learned you are. Just give South Sudan a break here and stop your madness about Dinkas.

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                            • 6 September 04:26, by South South

                              Dinkas are on the top, you are on the bottom. I will assure everyone here how terribly you struggle to write simple sentences in English, even present simple is too difficult for you to use it. Just write tomorrow or today and I will point out 10 to 100 poor sentences from your writing wicked old man and stupid.

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  • 4 September 23:03, by Theone

    Anyone who use tribalism his base to attack any tribe will not succeed in South Sudan or any part of the world.

    It has been tried in many countries but never got anywhere.

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  • 5 September 00:03, by Don-Don Malith Rual

    Amnesty,should be pure one not the other way around of pleasing someone with a certain renege n files or position! We need to apolish that culture n deal with pple with reality, There are certain clearance that need to perform such as investigation or court of appeals for any crime against humanity before someone is granted amnesty;I’m not talking about Mr Thomas a lone but to anyone coming in

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  • 5 September 00:51, by john akeen

    It is shame on a high military general like Thomas Cirilo to lead rebellion in the country, that is not a professional way for the high ranking general Thomas Cirilo to go against anyone in the country, Thomas Cirilo should come back to the nation of South Sudan because he’s not a leader for Equatorians by itself, he’s a leader for anyone in the country, please don’t take Riek & Pagan & Lam Idea

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  • 5 September 03:52, by Noel Kenyi

    Firstly, i don’t think cirilo’ s grievances will be addressed, because he said it opened that several time while he was in juba, he advised the president to reform the army not to be tribal and to stop all the negative things being carried out by tribal militants targeting specific tribes.

    Secondly, Many who had rebelled before haven’t seen their grievances addressed after coming back to juba.

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  • 5 September 13:06, by Majesty

    After many months of lying and denying to general public Gen. Kuol Manyang just came out admitting they have confined Gen. Paul Malong. You heard them calling out for peace, on other hand they are creating & starting another war. That’s what Bor warmakers and Gogrial backstabbers are good at, pretend in your face while running their dirty mouths behind you. I see no true enemy beyond these people.

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    • 5 September 20:46, by Mr. Right

      Majesty, you seem not to have taken you medicines again boy. Just look outside your window, ya, you see, it’s calm and normal. No one is running mad as a result of alleged masterminding.

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  • 5 September 14:04, by Nairobimitot

    Where is the news that says the war is over and the people are united and begin developing their country?

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  • 5 September 18:56, by Adok son

    Let’s see the coming policy of the West who needs Cirilo Swaka to come as he has been pardoned by president Kiir while the hidden agendum is at a door that he himself Swaka to be would be president of the interim period before coming election of 2018. We will see if JCE of Dinka can allow that policy.

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    • 5 September 19:41, by Eastern

      PARDONING ANYBODY OR CALLING FOR GENERAL ELECTIONS IN 2018 are UNNECESSARY DIVERSIONS....Kiir must cede power for South Sudan to remain as an entity...

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