- Exiled South Sudanese rebel general Thomas Cirillo poses for a photograph inside his hotel room in Addis Ababa, on April 17, 2017 (Reuters photo)
July 4, 2021 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s opposition National Salvation Front (NAS) has inaugurated the Salvation (Political) Council of the hold-out opposition movement.
Speaking at the launching of the council on Saturday, the chairman of NAS, Gen. Thomas Cirillo Swaka described the event as “historic”.
He said it is the responsibility of the political council members to represent the movement and people of South Sudan in different parts of the country in the struggle to emancipate them and restore dignity.
“This task demands of you great sacrifice, self-discipline, courage and resolve,” said Cirillo, adding “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 for their children, grandchildren and generations to come”.
The leader of the hold-out group criticised the country’s ruling party (SPLM) leadership of failing to steer the nation 10 years after South Sudan got independence from neighbouring Sudan.
He blamed the SPLM leadership for creating instability in the country.
“The SPLM leaders have failed to govern the country to achieve peace, stability, development and prosperity for the people of South Sudan,” explained Cirillo, a former logistics officer in the army.
According to Cirillo, members of the NAS political council will only serve a two-year term.
“I urge you to serve diligently and to the best of your ability,” he said.
The hold-out group was founded on March 6, 2017. In March 2018, NAS joined South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA), a coalition of rebel groups opposed to the Juba government.
The group, which is not party to the revitalized peace deal, signed a truce agreement with the government in Rome on January 12, 2020.