23rd August 2019
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Kiir says Cirillo, Malong “not enemies”

Author: Emmanuel Akile | Published: 3 weeks ago

Both General Thomas Cirillo and General Paul Malong served under Kiir in the SPLA -now SSPDF

President Salva Kiir has reiterated his appeal to General Paul Malong and Thomas Cirillo to return home and support the revitalized peace agreement.

Kiir says he does not consider the opposition leaders, including the two as enemies.

Malong and Cirillo are the hold-out leaders who have refused to sign the revitalized peace agreement.

Thomas Cirilo is heading the South Sudan National Salvation Front, while Paul Malong is the chair of National Democratic Movement.

NAS has often argued that the 2018 revitalized peace agreement does not address the root causes of the conflict, and that his movement is “not after positions.”

He is referring to the power-sharing formula adopted by the parties in governance the country during the next transitional period.

IGAD, however, rejected reopening the whole agreement to renegotiations after its signing in September last year.

Paul Malong demanded participation in the negotiations of the peace talks last year but was denied the opportunity by the mediators.

He fell out with President Salva Kiir after being dismissed as the army Chief of Staff in 2017.

There have been reported clashes between forces loyal to Thomas Cirillo, and a combined force of the SSPDF and SPLA-IO mainly in areas of Yei River state.

But Kiir said there is a need to consolidate all efforts around the peace agreement.

In his Martyrs Day speech, the President said I sees no pride in killing a fellow South Sudanese -especially those who were once comrades.

“There is no reason for all these wars. Thomas Cirilo is in the bush, he refused the agreement with Paul Malong, now if I kill one of them now or their followers, do I say that I have killed an enemy?” Kiir asked.

“No, they are not enemies to me,” he told a crowd that gathered at Dr. John Garang Mausoleum in Juba on Tuesday.

According to IGAD’s Special Envoy to South Sudan, Ambassador Ismail Wais, who met the two leaders three months ago, general Thomas Cirilo has put conditions, some of which requires the opening of the agreement for re-negotiations while Gen. Paul Malong was more promising, as he expressed his willingness and readiness to engage in talks to join the peace process.

In April, the IGAD Council of Ministers issued a stern warning to parties who have not signed the revitalized peace agreement to immediately join in or face undisclosed consequences.

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