In 1996, Dr. John Garang created the New Sudan Brigade, essentially an SPLA’s branch for Northern Sudan, which was deployed, via Ethiopia and Eritrea, to the Red Sea region and around Kassala. It was under the leadership of Commander Pagan Amum Okiech, Commander Thomas Cirillo Swaka, Commander Augustino Maduot Parek, among other distinguished officers of the Movement.
While I pay tribute to Comrade Thomas Cirillo, who joined the Movement during the darkest years of the 1990s in the aftermath of the Nasir coup, when most compatriots were deserting the Movement and trooping to Khartoum, I urge him to follow the footstep of his comrade and colleague, Gen. Oyai Deng Ajak, who have managed to stay out of the Junubi-on-Junubi killing and propaganda spree. The legacy of the liberation struggle is a great honor and burden to be sacrificed on simplistic, foolish wars. I have no comment whatsoever on his letter of resignation and the reasons mentioned therein. From PaanLuel Wël