JUBA, (Xinhua) --
Sudan People’s Liberation Army-in opposition (SPLA-IO)
led by former first vice president Riek Machar on Wednesday
expressed fear of losing some of it’s top officers to the
recently formed National Salvation Front (NSF) led by a renegade
Former South Sudan
army (SPLA) deputy chief of logistics Lt. General Thomas Cirillo
Swaka who heads NSF is behind defections of several high-ranking
have stirred up unease in the SPLA-IO camp for fear of being
usurped as the most vibrant group fighting to topple President
Salva Kiir’s regime, since fighting broke out in December 2013.
“Some generals from
SPLA-IO declared their allegiance to the (NSF) new movement. But
we thought General Thomas Cirillo could have first consulted our
leadership because we share the objective, but now they seem to
form their movement against us,” Colonel William Gatjiath the
SPLA-IO spokesman told Xinhua in an interview.
“But the only lion
in the bush of South Sudan is SPLA-IO because we deployed our
sectors and divisions all over the south Sudan. Nobody could
form different entity without cooperating with the SPLA-IO,” he
In his March 11
resignation letter to Machar, Colonel Nyarji Roman, former
deputy spokesman in the office of the latter, castigated the
SPLA-IO top leadership’s conduct leading to death of rebel
“We were not taken
seriously when some of us tried to warn you of possible attack
by the government on July 4. You (Machar) ignored the warning
and as a result, many of our soldiers ended up losing their
lives,” the letter said.
disclosed that for over three years, Machar failed to supply
SPLA-IO forces in Equatoria region with arms and logistical
support that caused the death of two prominent generals Martin
Kenyi and Elias Lino Jada.
Meanwhile, the South
Sudanese Minister of Information Michael Makuei, said the rebels
are in disarray after being overpowered and that they were in
control of large swathes of the country.
“There is a
misconception that government of South Sudan is nothing than an
island in Juba. This is not true but hearsay,” he said.
He also dismissed
the new NSF rebellion led by General Cirilo as inconsequential.
“Cirillo with his
(NSF) declaration is brief case movement, there is no way if you
are a real leader you call for people to join (rebellion) from
the refugees camps,” Makuei said.
The rebel factions
could lead to factional fighting like the January fighting
between SPLA-IO and former agriculture minister Lam Akol’s led
group that led to death of two generals.
happened to Dr. Lam Akol who formed his movement and we (SPLA-IO)
dismantled his movement and killed the two top generals. This
may twist itself to Thomas Cirilo, all those generals claiming
to join him have no forces, but left the movement in search of
money,” Gatjiath revealed.
descended into violence in December 2013, following political
dispute between president Salva Kiir and former vice president
Riek Machar resulting in killing of tens of thousands and
displacement of more than two million.
July fighting in 2016 threatened to tear apart the fragile 2015
peace agreement to end the conflict.