The JCE’s Holier-than-thou Response to the Resignation Letter of Gen. Thomas Cirrillo “Sawaka” (sic)
By; Dr Alfred Lokuji-Sebit
The religious teaching that the devil’s workshop is a messy place is borne out by the JCE letter purporting to respond to Gen. Thomas Cirillo Swaka’s letter of resignation. All independent thinkers in South Sudan and the world should read the JCE letter and see for themselves how desperation is equally the mother of invention. It confirms that daylight is fast dimming in the posh meeting rooms of the JCE!
Where on earth the six men of antiquity who signed “their response” got the inspiration to distort the contents of the resignation letter of the general is equally left to the imagination. Nowhere in the letter of resignation does Gen. T. C. Swaka refer to “all the people of Equatoria to fight the Jieng and the Nuer in South Sudan!” It is neither explicitly stated, nor implied, that there is a “view to establishing the Republic of Equatoria or annex the region to Uganda!” It is conceivable that in an atmosphere where Hon. Johnny Walker sets the tone for discussion, not a single individual out of six can stand up to say: “let’s fight this man for our own political survival, but let’s not use pedestrian lies that will make us the laughing stock of every literate person.” Or is it that the six honourable men jumped to grab wild suggestions that floods of support for the general could be stopped by portraying him as an Equatorian separatist – not a passionate nationalist?
The general’s letter of resignation went into details of how the SPLA was gradually being turned into an ethnic army especially in post 2013-recruitment (e.g. Mathiang Anyoor) as well as in promotions and deployment. Like Tom-and-Jerry script writers, the six authors of the response letter simply, understandably, avoided any references to that precise documentation in paragraphs, in six pages detailing reasons for his resignation. That strategy to simply focus on smearing a well-known military strategist and SPLA hero will most definitely backfire – if it has not already!
The interesting question is, if Gen. T. C. Swaka wants to “annex the region to Uganda”, do the authorities in Uganda know about this? Has President Mseveni organized an NRM party at State House or Chankwanzi to hail Uganda’s rising fortunes? Six experience old men should know that if one is going to attribute such claims to one’s perceived enemy, the documentation should be solid – leaving no doubts and no room for sceptics to rise.
Were it not for the gut hatred arising from a gut-fear of this capable general, the authors of the “response” to the letter of resignation would, minimally, have admitted to “some mistakes” that were being “in the process of correction”. Or, the more familiar excuse, “the general should know that Rome was not built in a day.” Instead, the letter focused on burying the truth – placing a lot of emphasis on sanitizing the JCE – in contrast to what is already cast in stone in the minds of innocent South Sudanese, anxiously watching through the crevices of their crumbling huts – and patiently waiting for the end to the nightmare.
As for meetings, dialogues, and prayers: even bishops are refusing to participate in prayers! Are these signs that the devil has taken over South Sudan. Do we not have institutions for Dialogues – even when they turn to monologues! With ten states there were are least 22 legislatures (20 state and 2 national), SPLM and other party congresses, various religious denominations, inter-party dialogues, the famous Addis dialogue which gave birth to the still-born ARCSS, the IOC peace-mobilizers program! The alleged JCE and Equatoria Elders dialogues should not be forgotten. If there was a bio-chemical drug called “Dialogues” and repeated prescriptions were not showing signs of relief, would patients not wonder about the potency of the drug after taking it in rising quantities to no avail?
The honourable elders bravely claim: “If there is anyone pursuing an ethnic cleansing agenda, it is Thomas Cirillo himself who has done everything with his tribal death squads to target innocent Jieng on the Equatorian roads and towns.” Who is the new arrival in South Sudan who is being told this? How and wherefrom does Thomas Cirillo recruit vagabonds who speak Dinka when addressing their victims? Wherefrom, How, and Why does Thomas Cirillo assemble herders who accompany their cattle in uniform to terrorize people in Mundri and Lobonok and numerous other places if he has an agenda to fight one ethnic group in preference over another? If the Jieng people are Thomas Cirillo’s targets, why does he pick on the Chollo, the Nuer, the Murle, the Lotuko, the Didinga, the Madi, the Bari, the Moru, the Zande – setting fire all over South Sudan? I suggest the six honourable gentlemen should return to the drawing room and revisit their strategy for discrediting young men like Thomas Cirillo! I believe many would wish to have these things explained to give credibility to the assertion that “the Jieng people (read JCE) are not in the business of territorial expansion.”
If the letter has any substance, it is very poorly crafted. On the one hand it demands that the general should “produce evidence that JCE is the actual cabinet” and then comfortably turn around to assert without proof that the general “has been bribed by foreign sources to destroy his own country!” The authors recite his high rank job “Titles” without distinguishing titles from functional powers that point to an “Executive” position. The bomb against the obviously hostile portrayal of the general, going back to his service in the SAF in the 1980-90’ is the narrative about his being some big shot in the SPLA. Who was the fool endangering South Sudan’s security by placing it in the hands of such a well-established betrayer, if the 6 are to be believed? As for theft of money, a paltry 10 million in comparison to thefts in J-1, CBSS, and the army as a collective – and assuming that we should just ignore the denial by Eco Bank – let’s see the queue of those who wish to cast the first stone in this South Sudan! The betting houses will tell you your chances of winning are quadrupled if you leave out the six signatories of the JCE letter.
The experiences of intentional humiliation when the general’s home village was being invaded, not by land allocation agents of government, but by members of one community, do not portray him as the most powerful man in the army! Above all, the war to liberate our land from the Arabs was such a powerful motivator that anyone with a modicum of morality, common sense, and sense of community entitlement, could not possibly excuse, nor forgive, those who are to date, going around grabbing land!
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