JUBA – South Sudan’s holdout opposition leader General Thomas Cirilo Swaka has said in a statement to mark the country’s tenth independence anniversary that the world’s youngest country won’t see peace and rule of law unless the ruling SPLM party under President Salva Kiir Mayardit is gone.
General Cirilo is the leader of the National Salvation Front (NAS). He is also the Chairman of the South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA), a non-signatory group to the revitalized peace agreement signed by President Salva Kiir Mayardit and various opposition groups in Addis Ababa in September 2018.
In the statement, General Cirilo accused the ruling SPLM faction of betraying the cause of independence for the people of South Sudan and said the people of the world’s youngest country which has been in conflict since December 2013 have nothing to celebrate ten years into the hard-won independence.
“The post-independence SPLM regime failed to formulate a vision and mission for the new country. Instead of crafting a viable new State for all the people of South Sudan, the SPLM regime hijacked the nascent State, treating it as private property,” General Thomas Cirilo said in the statement extended to Sudans Post.
“This is a serious betrayal of people’s trust and loyalty that the people of South Sudan had given to the SPLM over the years. The lack of national vision for the new country means the new State has become a property for the few elites. Corruption and impunity are condoned. There is a total breakdown of law and order due to a lack of rule of law. Delivery of basic social services and needs to the millions of South Sudanese people is ignored,” he added.
The prominent opposition leader said the “period from independence up to today has been ten years of failure and misrule by the SPLM leaders. The catalogue of failures of the SPLM reign in South Sudan is unending and continues with each passing day. From the global perspective, South Sudan is at the bottom of all known indices or measures.”
General Cirilo said the regime in Juba is too deformed to be reformed and the country will not see peace and rule of law unless the ruling SPLM elites are removed from power to pave way for the suffering people of South Sudan to rebuild the ruins of the civil war that has killed more than half a million people.
“The SPLM system in South Sudan is too deformed and can only be overhauled so as to deliver South Sudan. South Sudan’s woes will not come to an end if the same clique of leaders continues with the status quo. On this 10th anniversary of independence, the people of South Sudan have nothing to celebrate. South Sudan is now in a period of its second colonialism, this time around internal colonialism. South Sudan is being exploited both by its own citizens as well as external forces,” General Cirilo said.
“The people of South Sudan have no other option but to take their destiny into their hands and reclaim the country from the SPLM cliques. The time is now for the liberation of the county so as to bring in place a modem South Sudan of freedom, justice, equality and dignity,” he added.
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