Archive for March 19, 2018


Was The Political Wrangling In The Ruling SPLM Party The Root Cause Of The Current Crisis In South Sudan?

By Hon Arop Madut Arop, Oxford, UK

fighting in juba

fighting in juba, 2013, 2016

March 19, 2018 (SSB) — In this article, I will attempt to answer one basic question as to whether it was political wrangling in the Ruling SPLM party was to blame for the December 15th 20013 crisis or something else. This is important, because some people, both South Sudanese stakeholders and most members of the international community who are making efforts to resolve the on-going crisis appear to have lost sight of the fundamental causes of the said crisis. This oversight was clearly demonstrated when many stakeholders called upon the IGAD led HLRF to resolve the root causes of the crisis first before effort were made to revitalize the 2015 controversial peace deal.

Their request to resolve the root causes before the actual crisis could be addressed presupposes that other social and political ills: like bad governance, tribalism or corruptions were responsible for the crisis. Although these social and political ills are undeniably part of the problem, they are not the root causes of the problem per se. According to medical science, one has to diagnose the causes of the disease suffered by a patient before one can be able to prescribe right medicine to cure it. It is in the same vein that in order to solve the current conflict in the young nation, it will be instructive to discuss the main contributing factors to the current crisis in the hope that those engaged in an effort to bring peace to the world youngest nation would benefit from it. Bear with me.

As we start to discuss the contributing factors to the current crisis, it will be important to recall that, after the independence of South Sudan, all the existing political parties that were registered in accordance to the ancient regime’s constitution, including the SPLM, automatically became illegal entities. The political parties, the old and the new, were then expected to have their parties registered in accordance with the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan 2011 before the function as political entities. Basically, the SPLM, as the lead party should have also been registered afresh. This would have been followed by the calling for third-party national convention in order to approve the party’s basic documents namely, the manifesto and the constitution. Other procedural regulations could have also been revised and approved by the third party national convention.

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