OPEN LETTER TO DR. MARTIN ELIA LOMURÖ, SOUTH SUDAN MINISTER OF CABINET AFFAIRS
Honourable Dr. Martin Elia Lomurö
South Sudan Minister of Cabinet Affairs
Juba – South Sudan
I am prompted to write this open letter after reading an article published by the online newsletter Nyamilepedia, dated 14th March 2019, which quoted your ill-tempered lambasting of one of our nation’s heroes of the 21-year struggle, Lieutenant General Cirillo Swaka. The reported platform in which you made those disparaging statements is the Egyptian Capital Cairo.
In an expression of a typically personal attack, you insinuated that the move by the General against your government is motivated by nothing other than thirst for positions, personal ambition, vanity and fame. I care to challenge you that this attribution is totally inaccurate, uncouth, spiteful and uncalled for. This is what you are reported to have said:
“The agreement is not renegotiable because South Sudan has become a country renowned for anarchy. Everyone simply rebel [to] create a party, create a movement, create a front in order to be considered as a great nationalist who is fighting for the people of South Sudan”.
In the interest of posterity and setting the record straight, I wish to reject this position as fundamentally flawed and an attempt to tarnish the image of not only Gen. Thomas Cirillo, but also to dispirit any genuine revolutionary who springs up in the wake of the widely reported prevalence of injustice, corruption, gerrymandering and general evil spirit in our country.
As someone who knows you very well for over 40 years, who has worked with you and at one point been one of your close associates (in the service of our community affairs; 2008-2012), I write in an expression of total frustration with your outrageous attitude, which is full of vindictiveness and contempt against those who have chosen to disagree with you and the government you serve. I desist from any temptation to parade what has made me to distance myself from you, as doing so might be subject to misinterpretations. I, therefore, limit myself to responding to the above unfortunate characterization of a high profile veteran in the eyes of many.
I care to make before you, the world and God the following points of arguments:
- -General Thomas Cirillo Swaka is NOT a self-centered and self-interested person in every respect. All those who know the gentleman can testify to this value judgment. I personally know a handful of people who have admirably talked good of him as a person full of humility, selflessness and has humane heart.
- General Thomas Cirillo has many things to show that he is a patriot and nationalist of the highest order; not just someone who wants to be “considered a great nationalist who is fighting for the people of South Sudan”. The General attended professional military officers’ colleges and qualified. He was promoted through the ranks to his current position based on merit. He commanded forces during active combats, got injured three times and almost paid the ultimate price when an enemy bomb ripped his skull open. His track record as a valiant soldier stands out. While he was joining the SPLA/M in 1992, General Cirillo survived days of rocky terrains, thorny thickets and harmful insects to reach his destination. Therefore, your contemptuous sentiments alleging that he is a mere wannabe is insulting to the man’s very struggle for dignity, freedom and justice – the fruits of which you are now basking in.
- If you had taken time to read the establishment documents of the National Salvation Front (NAS), you would find out that it was not established (in March 2017) in speculation for recognition; certainly not quite what you intended when you created your South Sudan Democratic Front (SSDF) – a typical briefcase party that has existed in your closet since day 1. The National Salvation Front is a corporate, people-centered revolutionary movement. Its agenda is change and, more so, ushering in salvation for the people of South Sudan who have been exploited for far too long since time immemorial. Apart from its conceptualization and configuration, NAS has verifiable setups and operating systems. That is why it took almost two years for the movement to spring to action.
- General Thomas Cirillo left his position as the SPLA Deputy Chief of General Staff for Logistics and Training voluntarily. He has stated the reason for doing so in his famous February 2017 resignation letter. It was a well-planned exit from Juba, executed without alerting his potential enemies. Those who create mutinies and ending up eliciting positions don’t do this; they are fired from their positions and then later take to the bushes or to neighbouring capitals.
- Truly, those who shelter in glass houses should not throw stones! You created your now moribund SSDF and recruited mediocre political rookies into it. Then you boot-licked your way into Kiir’s dynasty. You may recall when you told me in your office (at the time you were the Minister for Animal Resources and Fisheries) in February 2012. You said: “Of course, the policy of our party is to work with the government”! This tells it all. You are a strategic political schemer. Which opposition party worth its salt would work with the very system it is opposing, without the benefit of any written pact? Of course, your motive was to convince me if at all I was wondering why you could disclose in confidence the weaknesses of the regime, while you paradoxically stick in there. But, don’t think everybody has your kind of heart! There are still people in this world who would rather die with their principles, than brushing aside their dignity against all odds. Of course, you know our own Aggrey Jaden whose legends lives on until today. I wonder why you are on course to self-destruction, let alone burning your legacy! Instead of using your Pojulu Community chairmanship to earn respect for yourself, you are cheaply using it to accumulate wealth albeit on rotting corpses of massacred civilians, including a few just in front of your official residence!
As you have known me for a long time, I am not in competition with you in any sense of the word. My aim is simply to set the record straight. I am also here to say that it is totally absurd to smear your detractor in order to survive in your comfort zone. Only members of a Mafioso or a cult organization do that! I have authored this open letter so that opportunists don’t get away with their moral crimes. I strongly advise you to not let your ego get the worst of you as to burn bridges! South Sudan is big enough to accommodate all of us.
Laila B. Lokosang, Ph.D
Citizen of South Sudan and your ‘home boy’