Home | News    Sunday 17 June 2018

138 South Sudanese rebels abandon Gen Cirilo, rejoin SPLM-IO

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June 16, 2018 (JUBA) – A total of 138 members of South Sudan Liberation Army-In-Opposition (SPLM-IO), who initially joined the National Salvation Front (NAS), led by Gen Thomas Cirilo have denounced the group and returned to the armed opposition movement led by Riek Machar.

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Colonel John Kaden Elisa (courtesy photo)

In a statement, Col John Kaden Elisa, who led the group of defectors, said they incorporated into NAS by Lt Gen John Kenny Latio, a senior commander of SPLA-IO, when he also joined the NAS.

While with the NAS, Kaden said they were ordered to fight the SPLA-IO, instead of pro-government forces loyal to President Salva Kiir.

“On behalf of my comrades in arms and on my own behalf, I Lt Col John Kaden Elisa and 137 other comrades decided to resign from NAS effective 15/06/2018 and rejoin the SPLA-IO under the leadership of Dr Riek Machar Teny. When Lt Gen John Kenyi Latio defected to NAS in July 2017, he forced us and conscripted others to join him and fight for NAS under Gen Thomas Cirillo. However, we ended up fighting against the SPLA-IO instead of the regime in Juba as it happened in Kajo Keji and many other places,” explained Kaden.

He said their decision to join the SPLA-IO was not through coercion, but willingly, claiming that they were instead ordered by Lt Gen Kenyi to join General Cirilo-led NAS.

Those who defected, according to Kaden, were promised logistics to fight the Juba regime, but to date nothing has been delivered, but instead ordered to attack SPLA-IO position to get arms and support from willing people in the diaspora.

“When we joined the SPLA-IO in 2014, it was out of our free will not force; this was however, not the case with NAS where we were forced to join by Gen Kenyi being the sector commander. We were also deceived that Gen Cirillo would supply us with logistics to fight the regime in juba. Up to now nothing has so far happened in that line, NAS forces are entirely depending on attacking SPLA-IO positions and support from some well-wishers in diaspora,” said Kaden.

“The above reasons and many others not mentioned here made us resign and rejoin the SPLA-IO so that lasting peace and freedom is achieved in South Sudan for all South Sudanese. The struggle continues,” he added.

Meanwhile the SPLA-IO has welcomed the group, saying they will incorporate them to fight the oppressive regime in South Sudan.

The SPLM-IO deputy spokesperson, Lt Col Paul Gabriel Lam, said the defection is a testimony that their group is united.

“The SPLA-IO this evening (June 15), would like to welcome back Lt Col John Kaden Elisa and 137 comrades who were forced to join NAS last year 2017. The resistance continues,” said Lam.

(ST)

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  • 17 June 2018 10:26, by choldit

    This was a patriotic courageous decision to take back the misled spla io warrior to spla io under the charismatic leadership of Dr Riek Machar Teny. Join those in outskirts of Jubilant a Until the time of cantonment

    repondre message

  • 17 June 2018 12:58, by Kush Natives

    Confused elements in the bushes. Rebellion without ideology is always endless. What’s the benefits of running around back and forth between IO £ NAS? Better to join national dialogue with the government. Where’s Thomas Cirilo by the way, because I have never heard of him since he left Juba?

    repondre message

    • 17 June 2018 15:36, by Midit Mitot

      Welcome back general, you were confused by self proclaimed general by then. Kuch Native, you will end -up with nothing this time

      repondre message

      • 18 June 2018 05:33, by Kuch

        Midit Mitot,
        Tell us, what is the different between Riek Machar & Thomas Cirillo? They are both bunch of losers who are not going to smell anything closer to power in South Sudan again, trust me chap. Your Riek Machar is finish Mr. Midit Mitot.

        repondre message

        • 18 June 2018 06:46, by jubaone

          Kuch aka koryom2
          Riak is finished? I thought your kiirminal uncle wants to meet him the next. That is really new!

          repondre message

  • 18 June 2018 22:18, by Nyesi Ta

    Col. Elisa is an opportunist whose calculations about the revitalization of the peace talks is well calculated. He sees two giants in the peace talks, Kiir-Riak as the true stakeholders and seeing Thomas w/ nothing to offer him, thus he decided to follow whoever is going to carry a platte w/ goodies to chop, forgetting the fact that division of positions will not bring lasting peace South Sudan.

    repondre message

    • 19 June 2018 11:17, by Kwacha Okonyomoi

      Nyesi Ta,
      I agree with you. The so called Lt. is an opportunist. Remember, No more integration of illiterate officers into the organised forces.

      repondre message

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