Is SPLM unity today another looming war awaiting South Sudan?

Posted: May 10, 2018 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

By Longar Mathiec Wol, Nairobi, Kenya

Thursday, May 10, 2018 (PW) — The division in SPLM is not something new to the people of south Sudan. SPLM had divisions before including that of December 2013. All these division or disagreement in the party always led to the military confrontation as seen in 1991 and in 2013. The division in SPLM has become a threat to our country existence and cost the people of Southern Sudan then and south Sudan much.

In other countries the division in the party is not a business of the outsider and the country as a whole, it is usually a business of the party but in the case of South Sudan the situation is different. It’s different in sense that any disagreement in SPLM become a national concern which should not be the case.

The SPLM refusal to delink itself from the army and make a different between the nation and itself is a matter of concern. The situation become more complicated through indifferential between SPLM as party and they nation. SPLM sees itself as nation and a nation as SPLM.

I know it will takes time for the people of south Sudan to know the differences between SPLM and the country, other people think, especially emotionally attached to SPLM; see SPLM as a country and country as SPLM, the perception that is invalid.

There is no one who doesn’t want the SPLM unity as long as the unite and take South Sudan forward, but the problem people worrying about is SPLM trends of divisions in the past. Those past experiences built negative perception in people minds that the unity of the SPLM today is another awaited war in the future.

The SPLM reunification revival initiative by Tanzania, South Africa and Uganda is not a bad idea, but the SPLM factions involve cannot be trusted, some of these people have been involved in past division. They could agree on everything but they cannot implement it, because some SPLM members associate the power with individuals in the party.

For instance in SPLM-IO they authority is vested in Dr. Riek Machar a man that has been isolated. So what ever being done and is not endorse by him is seen as a waste of time.

As we have seen last few days ago when he 4th SPLM national convention kickoff, some of the outcomes in form of resolutions where good. That convention was subsequently follow by the merging of the SPLM in government and the SPLM-IO under Gen. Taban Deng Gai.

But the question that is lingering in many vulnerable South Sudanese minds is whether the new marriage will work. All in all what the people of South Sudan want is peace, all the venue leading to a peaceful South Sudan are welcome.

In my view non-armed opposition has never been bad, the only problem with South Sudan opposition is the easily resort to arm struggle which is the out dated approach in modern world.

Countries with strong non-arm opposition have development, because the opposition keep the government on check, it scrutinize what the government does and make the citizens know where the government gone wrong and what the government is doing right.

Government work well when there is a competition between ruling party or coalition and the opposing party or coalition.

Peace can only prevail when we start to tell ourselves the truth. Continuing with deceit that destroy our country is nothing but a continue betrayal to our hard won independence country. Any rogue society that doesn’t say the truth will always remain behind.

We have pretend for long since 2005, so its time now to come out strong and stop pleasing ourselves and address our issues with sound mind till we reach concrete solution. If we are really serious to revive the credible and reinvigorate the peace and security in the country then that is the way to go.

Now SPLM reunited again. With hopeless majority the think the reunification is nothing but a continuation of egomaniacal reign. As mentioned by the great Journalist Nhial Bol and I quote ‘when SPLM divide they kill us and when they unite they loot us’.

Slowly the people of south Sudan began to come close to understanding what he means. Now they are almost winding up from their busy day of killing the innocent people of south Sudan in bloody civil war. The next phase is to start with the project of looting.

Now that SPLM-IO unite with the SPLM mainstream, question lingering in the minds of the people is, what would the reunification of SPLM bring to the people of south Sudan? I personally, the SPLM reunification without disciple will lead to another division in the future comes any little dissatisfaction.

When it is likely that both President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar might contest the same ticket for presidency. When one of them lose to get ticket, the tribal politics will be revive again and war become inevitable.

I would have been a happy man if SPLM-IO could have broken away and register their own party in omission of four letters SPLM to avoid another division in SPLM in the future.

The continuation in the SPLM of two equal untouchable powerful men in persons of President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar keep people on constant consternation of war breaking out again and the cycle of division, killing, reunification and rule continue to reign.

The divide and reunification of SPLM seems to be a plan to continue dominating the politics of south Sudan for wrong reasons and prolong their ruling. Because when they divide they will negotiate and come back to power through the so called power sharing and continue with their business polarization of South Sudan.

Where on earth one part share the power and have the separate armies according to the previous agreement in the same nation? It only exist in SPLM and South Sudan where there is no one to question.

If we want peaceful South Sudan, then SPLM factions need to choose one of the two:

i. To form and register his/her/their own party to avoid wrangling in the same party or;

ii. Remain a loyal member of SPLM.

But one thing to suggest to SPLM is to choose to either unite early or separate early so that the sell their ideas separately and convince the people of south Sudan that they are capable of doing something good apart from war or otherwise the frustration continue to grow within citizens. Don’t be surprise to see the citizens voting in mass for another party.

One thing SPLM has to know is that people are tired of war and would be unfair for one party to hold people hostage of insecurity for long. We know SPLM has done great work to liberate and bring the independence to the people of south Sudan.

We can give them credit for that but, without services after independence to compliment this achievement it would be useless.

One common statement if you ask a top member of SPLM leadership about all this mess, the response you are likely to get is we liberated South Sudan. But is that a genuine excuse to this rampant insecurity and corruption?

I assume is not. It doesn’t it mean when you liberated people then you can turn against them? Absolutely not, if so than the constitution become useless. Since every citizens has a right to live therefore, SPLM needs to revisit it strategies that will work with the people.

For the SPLM to restore confidence of the people, therefore, it needs to do the followings:

• To discipline it members to become loyal or register their own parties. Citizens are scare of the competition that is going on within the party that has caused and might cause future wars any time since both competitors have their standing armies.

• Reduce the level of insecurity in the country.

• To reconcile the people in the country and eradicate the rampant corruption, insecurity and tribalism.

• Eliminate the foreign elements that had meddled in the politics of south Sudan.

• Orient the security forces to know their duties and stop violating civil liberties.

• Improve the level of services delivery e.g. health, education, roads and etc.

• Put in place the laws that hold every one accountable regardless of status.

With effort toward the above mentioned plus many others bearing in mind the people of south Sudan need service not war, SPLM got better chance to extent it rules since people are still in love with it.

I agree with President Salva Kiir during his address at SPLM national convention in Juba when he forgive and invite Dr. Riek Machar back to Juba and promise to protect him. That is the heart of peaceful person and when you accept peace, then you need to sacrifice.

Peace is about give and take, is not about favoritism. If you want genuine peace then go to the person who caused the war. Address the issues, agree on them and bring him back for permanent implementation of the peace.

Don’t be deceive by some people in the middle here and there, yes the have influence, but they don’t have control. For me any peace initiative that include everyone is means to last. The SPLM is strong if it unites and abide by it party rules and regulations.

Let wait and see whether the SPLM unity we are witnessing through reunification is another awaiting war. But they should keep in minds that People of South Sudan need peace not war and, the peace lies in SPLM unity.

The author is a concern citizen residing in Nairobi, Kenya, and can be reached at

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