S Sudan army says general who quit was 'deeply' corrupt

2017-02-14 17:16
South Sudan President Salva Kiir. (File, AFP)

South Sudan President Salva Kiir. (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Juba - South Sudan's army said on Tuesday a general who quit after accusing President Salva Kiir and his tribe of "ethnic cleansing" was corrupt and had fled to evade arrest.

Lieutenant General Thomas Cirillo Swaka, then deputy chief of general staff for logistics, resigned last week accusing Kiir, aides and other army officers of violating a 2015 peace deal.

They had "systematically frustrated the implementation" of the peace agreement and sought to "pursue the agenda" of ... the Dinka ethnic community, Cirillo claimed.

But a statement from the army sent to AFP said it was Cirillo who was guilty of misconduct and that it "strongly disputes all inaccurate and inconsistent reasons" he cited for quitting.

"His resignation was aimed at avoiding accountability and escaping justice after a massive corruption was unearthed at his directorate," said a spokesman for the SPLA national army.

No prospects for peace in sight

Last December, a probe of 51 officers suspected of corruption indicated that Cirillo was "personally and deeply involved in a scam" where huge consignments of military food, fuel and equipment were diverted for "personal use or consumption, disappeared, sold or stolen" it added.

South Sudan gained independence in 2011 but plunged into war in December 2013, pitting the Dinkas of President Kiir against a former vice-president and his Nuer tribe supporters.

Observers said the war later metastasised with other tribes joining one side or the other, often with the hope of getting an upper hand in local conflicts over land and other issues.

An August 2015 peace deal was left in tatters when fighting broke out in Juba in July, with violence spreading throughout the country and no prospects for peace in sight.

In his resignation letter, Cirillo accused Kiir and his entourage of turning the country's military into a Dinka "tribal" army that has taken part "in systematic killings of people, rape of women and the burning of villages in the name of pursuing rebels in peaceful villages".

However in its statement hitting back at Cirillo, whose whereabouts are unknown, the army said he had fled because of the corruption probe.

"His resignation was out of fear that he would be arrested in connection of logistics malpractice. The SPLA challenges him to return to the country so that he clears his name," it added.

Read more on:    salva kiir  |  south sudan  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Man scores date with tennis superstar after Twitter bet

It’s a modern day Cinderella story, but one American man took ‘shoot your shot’ seriously in 2017.


You won't want to miss...

6 myths about male cancer
Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.