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KHARTOUM - 12 Aug 2018

NAS splinter group restructures leadership

The splinter group of the National Salvation Front (NAS) has announced restructuring of its leadership, days after interal differences with their leader Thomas Cirillo over the signed peace agreement.

In an interview with Radio Tamazuj on Friday, General Khalid Butrous said he succeeded Thomas Cirillo as head of the National Salvation Front (NAS).

He further said senior members of the group met and agreed to restructure the leadership. According to the new restructure, Julius Tabuley has assumed the position of deputy chairman and Gasim Barnaba Kisanga has become the new secretary general of the group.

Butrous pointed out that that they had decided to depose General Thomas Cirillo for refusing to sign the peace agreement on Khartoum. “Cirillo left Khartoum during peace talks without the knowledge of the top leadership of NAS, so we decided after consultations with our supporters to remove him from his position,” Butrous said.

He accused Cirillo of undermining democracy in the movement. “Everything was being done by him, so we as top leaders, we were just puppets to him. The decision to reject peace is important and it cannot be decided by one person,” he added.

Khalid explained that federalism has been stipulated in the peace agreement, saying that his group questions the logic behind Cirillo’s decision to object to the peace agreement.

When asked about their dismissal from the movement by General Thomas Cirillo over alleged dubious activities, Butrous said: “We have not been dismissed by General Thomas because our brothers in Kampala met officially and expressed concern after General Thomas had decided to withdraw from the talks without clear reasons. So they decided that Thomas was not qualified to lead the group,” he said.

He underscored that his group is still part of the South Sudanese opposition alliance, a consortium of nine opposition groups. “Our group is now the majority and I have now been assigned to lead our forces,” he said.

“We signed the peace agreement in Khartoum on behalf of our people as leaders of NAS.”

General Thomas Cirillo confirmed earlier that he dismissed top officials in his movement for allegedly conspiring against the group.

“They were dismissed because they conspired against the movement and went to sign on behalf of NAS. Some of them were given money while others were promised with top positions in the government,” he said.

Cirillo dismissed Maj. Gen. Julius Tabuley, Dr. Gasim Barnaba Kisanga, Gen. Khalid Butrous, Maj. Gen. Ali Kur, Brig. Nathaniel Chol Gai, and Brig. Gen. Michael Aywen.