FULL TEXT: Chairman’s speech on NAS’ 3rd anniversary
- Today, NAS has not only become a household name among all South Sudanese but it is also widely recognized globally
- The R-TGONU cannot address state failures and effect reforms when it is the main beneficiary of these failures
- NAS will never betray your aspiration for liberty and justice
- “freedom comes not as a gift but as a reward to the brave citizens“. We should not allow the suffering of our people to be manipulated and used for us to succumb and surrender.
The Speech to the Nation on the Third Anniversary of The National Salvation Front (NAS)
Fellow South Sudanese Citizens,
I greet you all in the name of your revolutionary movement, The National Salvation Front – (NAS), and in the name of our beloved country South Sudan. Today, 6th March 2020, marks the third anniversary of an important day in the history of our people, the launch of the people’s movement, your movement, NAS. On behalf of the leadership of NAS and on behalf of each and every member of the movement, I take this opportunity to congratulate you all on this historic day.
Three years ago, patriotic South Sudanese launched a revolution against dictatorship and impunity to restore the dignity of the people of South Sudan. We loudly and clearly called for the dismantling of the status quo in Juba that has robbed the people of South Sudan of their rights and freedom. South Sudan was speeding down the slippery slope towards abyss and hence the urgent need for its salvation. lt is out of this situation that the NAS was launched as a people’s movement. Today, NAS has not only become a household name among all South Sudanese but it is also widely recognized globally.
On this day, I salute NAS martyrs who have made the ultimate sacrifice of defending our oppressed people. They are men and women who offered their lives in defence of justice, equality and the right to live a dignified life. Their sacrifices will not be in vain but rather act as the torch that will guide the people’s revolution in the struggle to achieve the aspirations of the people. We will forever cherish their memories and celebrate their outstanding contributions to the struggle. NAS will always stand by their widows, children, and families.
I salute the NAS soldiers all over South Sudan who have been defending the people of South Sudan against a brutal regime that has turned predator on its own people. As you continue to observe the cessation of hostilities your vigilance in your noble duty must continue to remain high.
I take this opportunity to salute the resilient people of South Sudan who are being daily subjected to the brutalities of a regime that has turned on its own people instead of protecting and delivering services to them. To you, our people in the UN Protection of Civilian (POCs) sites who are being forced to live in terrible condition; those hiding in the bush, valleys and mountains; and those in the refugees camps in the neighbouring countries, I say, your liberation is at hand and NAS will never betray your aspiration for liberty and justice.
I congratulate the women, youth and civil society organisations that have been at the forefront of the struggle for the betterment of the lives of our people. We are with you in the same boat seeking the well-being of our people and a brighter future for the generations to come.
I extend lots of greetings to all the workers, farmers, and government officials who are struck by the economic down-turn and are struggling to raise their families as a result of corruption, mismanagement and poor economic policies of the government.
The National Salvation Front has in a short span of three years grown into the most formidable movement in the country that shoulders the responsibility of achieving the aspiration of the people of South Sudan. NAS membership continues to grow rapidly drawing from all social strata, reflecting the national character of the Movement.
The National Salvation Front would like to caution the people of South Sudan on this historic day that the recent political development in the country is not the dawn of peace in South Sudan. I urge you to be vigilant and not to allow yourselves to be deceived. The present situation in Juba is simply about some members of the political elite sharing positions among themselves with total disregard for the people of South Sudan. lt is also aimed at detracting our citizens and the international community from a just and durable peace in the country. The R-TGONU cannot address state failures and effect reforms when it is the main beneficiary of these failures.
NAS would like to categorically state that a just and sustainable peace can only be achieved when the root causes of the conflict in the country are addressed in a credible and inclusive negotiation process. This can be achieved when the issues of governance, security sector establishment, ethnic domination, justice and accountability, management of the people’s resources, and land issues among others are truly and squarely addressed so that all the people of South Sudan live as equal citizens in harmony and peace with one another.
NAS will not accept any unjust peace for the people of South Sudan. We will not accept any peace that strips the people of their fundamental human rights and subject them to live as second-class citizens. NAS will not accept any peace that aims to silence the people from speaking out against the horrible injustices and oppression. We will not accept any peace that rewards and empowers the status quo to continue with the impunity and destruction of every aspect of life in the country. Indeed, NAS will not accept any peace that allows any group of elites or government to colonise and enslave our people.
In the last year, NAS has made tremendous achievements in building its structures to make the movement stronger and well established in order to meet the challenges facing our people. We have established national committees, including the National Committee for Conflict-related Sexual Violence, which is important to defend the lives and dignity of our women and children. NAS is committed to stop any kind of violence and discrimination against our women.
As part of its efforts to achieve peace in South Sudan, I would like to declare to the people of South Sudan that the Movement has launched its Federalism Document that provides the vision on the governance system in South Sudan.
The National Salvation Front is committed to resolving the root causes of the conflict in the country in order to achieve a just and sustainable peace. The Leadership of NAS will not let the people down: ‘those who give up their rights and freedom to purchase temporary comfort and safety deserve neither freedom nor safety‘ .
South Sudan is passing through an important phase in its history that demand of its citizens to be conscious and to take charge of their destiny. The people of South Sudan must be conscious and reject the manipulation by the political elites who are only after their selfish interest while the citizens continue to suffer endlessly. I urge the leaders and cadres of NAS to embark on sensitising and raising the political consciousness of our people at this phase of our struggle. lt is worth mentioning here that, it is the national character and attitude of people that decide a nation’s future. We must know that any history of liberty is a history of resistance and sacrifice. And therefore, “freedom comes not as a gift but as a reward to the brave citizens“. We should not allow the suffering of our people to be manipulated and used for us to succumb and surrender.
The National Salvation Front believes that the commitment to realise the aspiration of our people require the collective efforts of all like-minded groups and movements. lt is due to this conviction that your Movement and its allies in South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA) tirelessly worked for the formation of an umbrella alliance of opposition forces in the country that refused to sign the flawed R-ARCSS peace agreement. The Hague Declaration of August 28th 2019 signalled the birth of the SSOMA. This alliance brings together the South Sudan National Democratic alliance of which NAS is a founding member and the South Sudan United Front (SSUF) together with the Real SPLM (R-SPLM).
SSOMA has made significant progress in creating a conducive environment for peace negotiation, under the mediation of Community of Sant’Egidio in Rome. The Alliance signed the Declaration on the Peace Process in South Sudan on 12th January 2020; and Rome Resolution on Monitoring and Verification of CoHA 2017 on 13th February 2020. NAS and the Alliance are ready to engage in substantive and inclusive negotiations to address the root causes of the conflict in South Sudan so as to achieve a just and sustainable peace.
The Leadership of NAS takes this opportunity to appreciate the TROIKA (USA, Norway and UK), AU, EU and the International Community for their continuous support to the people of South Sudan to achieve a sustainable peace.
As the Chairman and Commander-in-Chief, I assure you that NAS is committed to achieve justice, freedom, equality and dignity for our people. Your Movement will always remain steadfast in defending these noble values.
May God bless you and bless Sudan
SIGNED 06 March 2020
Gen. Thomas Cirillo Swaka
Chairman and Commander-in-Chief
National Salvation Fron/Army (NAS)