Remarks by Hon. John Luk Jok during the SPLM NLC in Juba, South Sudan

Posted: May 5, 2018 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

SPEECH of Comrade John Luk Jok to the 4th National Liberation Council Meeting in Juba on 3rd May 2018

H.E. Comrade Salva Kiir Mayardit,

Chairperson of the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM),

And President of the Republic of South Sudan

H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda and Chairperson of the NRM.

H.E. Sammy Shoukry, Foreign Minister of the Arab Republic of Egypt,

Excellencies, Members of the Diplomatic Missions to South Sudan

Comrades Members of SPLM Political Bureau,

Comrades Members of the National Liberation Council gathered here today,

Members of SPLM Executive and Legislative Caucuses,

Comrades National Secretaries in the General Secretariat of SPLM,

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, 

Saturday, May 5, 2018 (PW) — First of all, allow me in this opening session of the 4th Meeting of the National Liberation Council of the SPLM, to convey to you warm greetings from my colleagues and Comrades- the SPLM Leaders former Political Detainees, who have delegated me and my colleague Cde. Madut Biar yel, to speak on their behalf in this important historic meeting of the NLC which is one of the leading policy organs of our great party – the SPLM

My colleagues the Former Detainees wholeheartedly welcome this meeting of the NLC as a timely event to rescue the SPLM from its internal fragmentation, conflict and mistrust. The NLC in this meeting will be expected to stand for the genuine re-unification of the SPLM which is currently fragmented and infiltrated for a long period.The NLC as an important policy organ of SPLM will be expected in this meeting to provide policy guidance and direction on the critical issues and problems now facing the country and not only the SPLM re-unification agenda. This gathering should concretely address the negative forces of tribalism, nepotism, and corruption. It should address the issues of peace and security in order to restore trust and confidence in the SPLM.

My colleagues who are not here with us today in this meeting, have also expressed their regrets for not making the journey to Juba to participate in this important meeting as originally planned. This is due to circumstances beyond their control. I believe most people here are aware of the scarring public statements of the 24th April which emanated from the highest Office in our Government concerning the SPLM FDs. I do not wish to duel on this matter here but only to point out that it had been a cause for alarm for the FDs.

However, the FDS are asking the NLC to understand their situation and are hopeful that the situation will be rectified sooner than later, in the interest of unity, reconciliation and peace within the SPLM.

At this juncture allow me to state the following about FDs commitment to the Reunification of the SPLM:

We the former Political Detainees have been ready for the reunification of the SPLM since January, 2015 when the SPLM Re-Unification Agreement was signed by the three SPLM Groups in Arusha, Tanzania. In implementation of the Arusha Agreement, and prior to the signing of the Agreement for the Resolution of the conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) in August 2015, all the FDS members came to Juba without exception, to promote the   implementation of the Arusha Agreement.

While in Juba, Cde Pagan Amum assumed his position as Secretary General of the SPLM.  Unlike the SPLM (IO) the FDS did not have to wait for the Peace Agreement to be signed first in Addis because we were not involved in the armed conflict. We were warmly welcome by comrades of the SPLM General Secretariat in Juba and the government afforded us temporary accommodation. We owe them many thanks.

After signing the ARCSS we were however surprised by the negative change of attitude towards the FDs in Juba. The hostility was on account of Cde Pagan Amum signing the ARCSS on 17 August, 2015 in Addis Ababa on behalf of the FDs. The Government signed the ARCSS much later on 26 August 2015.  That unfriendly environment led the majority of FDS members to leave the country except for those who were assigned positions in the TGONU in accordance with the Agreement.

Furthermore, our participation in TGONU faced some problems which have remained unresolved until today. These problems included the dismissal of our colleague Dr Cirino Hiteng Hufoh, from his position as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs without seeking our opinion as required by the ARCSS. This was later followed by the rejection of our nominee for the only one seat allocated to us in the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA). Yet still, the above decisions were followed by accusations leveled against our Colleague Cde Dend Alor Kuol, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of not discharging his official functions in the interest of the government. No satisfactory evidence was produced to that effect. But nevertheless, his functions were allocated to another Minister. Comrade Deng has assured us that he will still be ready to return to Juba if the situation is resolved.

Comrade Pagan Amum is still the Secretary General of the SPLM, as per article 9 of the Arusha Agreement. He did not resign but left the country because of security concerns. The final reunification of the SPLM, if taken genuinely, can bring back home not only Comrade Pagan Amum, but all the members of the FDS group. All are for this country for which they struggled and sacrificed a great deal. The NLC should pursue the goal of unity diligently without leaving any person behind and without rushing matters that may need patience in handling them. This is the best way of restoring lost trust for the common good.

Excellencies, Comrades, Distinguished Guests,

The holding of this 4th Meeting of the NLC has special significance for the entire SPLM membership and all people of our country who have great hopes from the reunification of the SPLM. They trust that a reunified SPLM will end the current tragic conflict and the suffering our people have been going through in the past four years. The blame for this war is squarely placed on the internal division and fragmentation of the SPLM. Therefore, apart from endorsing the Re-unification Implementation Matrix, this NLC Meeting is expected to generate positive ideas that can sustain unity and harmony within the SPLM, and address the fundamental problems currently facing the country. These problems as you are aware include the following:

a. The senseless war that has plunged our country into a tragic political crisis characterized by massive displacement of over a million of our citizens internally forcing many to seek safety in UN Protection of civilian Sites (POCs) while hundreds of thousand others have become refugees in the neighbouring countries;

b. The current fragmentation of the SPLM into multiple armed and unarmed opposition groups scattered in various parts of the country with the objective of fighting what is supposed to be an SPLM led Government;

c. The prevailing economic crisis facing the country and which has severely affected the effective discharge of essential government functions.

Comrade Chairman, Distinguished Guests

1. The SPLM remains the central force for uniting and leading our people in all their diverse ethnic groups in our country and capable of advancing the great cause of state and nation building after achieving independent statehood. In shouldering this historical task the SPLM faces the most serious tests of our time resulting from the conflict that had gripped our country since December15, 2013. This conflict threatens to tear our country to pieces and therefore requires immediate actions that that can restore peace, unity and stability.

2. There is no denial that the SPLM is plagued by the negative forces of tribalism and divisive political intrigues. In order for the SPLM to address these issues of tribalism sectarian politics and divisions, the SPLM must firmly uphold the vision and principles on which it was founded. These principles which are enshrined in the SPLM Constitution are justice, liberty, equality and democracy, and above all, the principle that the SPLM exercises state power for the people, and shall respect the people and to govern the country guided by the supremacy of the people.

3. The SPLM should uphold the vision of the SPLM that calls for combating tribalism, nepotism and sectarianism in the political life of the country. In this respect, the SPLM government must be committed to good governance, equality of all citizens, and respect for the rule of law. In addition, the SPLM has to open up wider political space for all other political parties in our country in order to create consensual and harmonious political environment that enhances genuine political pluralism and respect for political rights and fundamental freedoms of all citizens. This is what our constitution enjoins the government to do.

4. Our people deserve peace because they are peace-loving people and have been very patient and resilient too. This is quite evidence from the way they have been suffering in silence without bitterness and without protesting in any form. In order to achieve peace we must uphold the principle of national reconciliation and healing, respect for each other as individuals and as groups and to genuinely work together in promotion of our common development, interests and our mutual prosperity. Our principal objective must be to uplift our country from backwardness and underdevelopment and save it from the looming threat of disintegration.

Excellencies, Comrades,

Distinguished Guests,

5. The Arusha reunification Agreement calls for fundamental reform of the SPLM Party. The aim of the reform is to serve the overall short and long term interest of the Party and country and to contribute to the prosperity and long term stability. We have to be confident and genuine in pushing forward for the agreed reforms as contained in the Arusha Agreement. This is important because Party reforms as currently enshrined in the SPLM Constitution (amended 2016) , should also result in reforms within the state governance systems and also in the society at large given the leading role of the SPLM .  Reforms in SPLM will inspire our people, unify them and give them confidence and trust and hope for a new future in the SPLM.

Excellencies, Comrades, Distinguished Guests.

The current political situation in the country requires that all the political forces consult regularly and work together in finding solutions to problems facing the country. The central objective in the political engagement and dialogue should be to resolve issues surrounding the revitalization of the ARCSS under the IGAD mediation in the interest of peace and stability of the country. It is important for the SPLM leaders to acknowledge that only a comprehensive peace can unite and save our country. Any further perpetuation of war for whatever reason is uncalled for and can only lead to the destruction of our people and country. We must say enough is enough.

Conclusion

To conclude my speech, I would like to emphasize the following:

1. The FDs are fully committed to the re-unification of the SPLM and are ready to participate in building the Party and the country;

2. The Re-unified SPLM together with TGONU should engage the opposition earnestly to end the ongoing armed conflict in the country through negotiations and other peaceful means;

3. We call upon the SPLM leadership to undertake all necessary positive measures that promote and consolidate the unity of the SPLM and achieve peace and reconciliation throughout the country. Keep the doors of unity open.

4. We call upon the NLC and all policy-making organs of the SPLM to commit themselves to respect the basic documents of the organization which are principally the SPLM Constitution (amended) 2016, the SPLM Manifesto and the Basic rule. This is the duty of any organization if it has to function well and avoid internal conflicts.

Thank you for listening.

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Comments
  1. Ayii Duang Arop says:

    Hon. John Luk is at the crossroads:

    – cajoling Kiir with whom he has a new deal;

    – His Lou Nuer Community who are trying to take advantage of what he has gained from the FDs quota in the ARCSS, and,

    – The FDs who honoured him in 2016 with a ministerial post.

    All that is Realpolik àla Machivelli. Even though he attended this NLC meeting on his accord without the mandate from his colleagues, he has talked eloquently and to the issues which have concerned the FDs, the SPLM, and the people of South Sudan for far too long. Bravo Gat-Jok! Yet, you still need to work on his split loyalties especially on how to carry your FDs fraternity along who gave you your present power..

    Like

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