Solving the SPLM Power Matrix: Complimenting the efforts toward SPLM Reunification

Posted: March 1, 2019 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Commentary, Contributing Writers, Junub Sudan, Kur Ayuen Kou, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

By Kur Ayuen Kou, Melbourne, Australia

Dr Majak Agot with President Kiir, December 2018

Dr Majak Agot with President Kiir, December 2018

Friday, March 01, 2019 (PW) — We are told the SPLM is enroute to another political remarriage…. Again!! Someone would ask if it was in relation to human family. But they said, in politics, there are no permanent friends or enemies. Physicist Isaac Newton’s third law of motion also clearly stated “what goes up must come down.”

The big hawks of the party met, deliberated and made a number of recommendations that became a public document few days ago…..thanks to the active online sniffers. The current document contains nothing new from early communiques. It recommended among others the need to reinstate previously sacked members of the Political Bureau as was constituted prior to the politically self-inflicted war of 2013.

The SPLM Political Bureau is the executive arm of the party that make decisions on behave of its other organs. It was consisting of 27 members prior to South Sudan’s Independence. After South Sudan succeeded to statehood, it was obvious that the Northern sector of the party will branch off to form the SPLM North. The mother party was left with 20 members as hereunder.

  1. Salva Kiir Mayaardit
  2. Riek Machar Teny
  3. James Wani Igga
  4. Daniel Awet Akot
  5. Kuol Manyang Juuk
  6. Pagan Amum Okiech
  7. Anne Itto Leonardo
  8. Nhial Deng Nhial
  9. Taban Deng Gai
  10. Deng Alor Kuol
  11. Mama Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior
  12. Paul Mayom Akec
  13. Lual Diing Wol
  14. Mark Nyipuoch Ubong
  15. Madam Jemma Nunu Kumba
  16. Madam Awut Deng Acuil
  17. Kosti Manibe Ngai
  18. John Luk Jok
  19. Samson Lukare Kwaje
  20. Akol Paul Kordit

Now, first thing first. From the online trending reunification report signed on 21st Feb 2019 by the three factions, SPLM, SPLM-IO (Taban Faction) and the SPLM-FD, the committee recommends the replacement of all those seats that fell vacant in the PB. In the list above, it included deceased comrades, among them Cde Gen. Lual Diing Wol, Cde Dr. Samson Lukare Kwaje. Consequently, the following questions require answers; is the reunified Political Bureau going to choose their replacement based on regional representation or seniority in the SPLM? Is ethnic consideration going to play a role?

The second group are those that became members of the political bureau based on their positions in other organs of the party. Dr. Ann Ito was the Deputy Secretary General and by default, she became a member of the Political Bureau. Cde Akol Paul Koordit, was the Chairman of the SPLM Youth League and by virtue of his position became a member of PB, inquiringly, is Cde Koordit’s successor an automatic member of the PB given the assumption? What will be their status in the reunified Political Bureau?

I am very uncomfortable with this, but the reality of the SPLM political culture will compel me to deconstruct the narrative. To break down the membership of the Political Bureau into regional representation, one would deduce that Greater Bahr El Ghazal has 9 members, followed by greater Upper Nile with 6 Members and lastly, Greater Equatoria with 5 members.

In the absence of the two prominent giants, Cde. Lualdit (Baba Africa) and Cde. Samson and the undecided fate of Cde. Ann Ito and Cde. Akol Paul, the two regions will definitely argue they nominate the replacements since they were from their respective regions. This will eventually put to test the unity of the reunified PB to go against the SPLM established tradition of following in the footsteps; Nyayoism as KANU in Kenya publicized it.

Since we the cadres, members and citizens have not been consulted and I guess it will never happen, each one of us will use his/her political right to air out his/her views. I can briefly describe what befalls the SPLM from its glorious formation and liberation victory from my own perspective. Some cadres that have served the movement with all their lives were subjected to unimaginable humiliation once they exit the corridors of power, causing bitterness and resentment. Such humiliation prompt some of them to be critical of the leadership leading to 2013 implosion. As humans, we learn from experience, it has become a norm that once you are out of government, you become an SPLM waste product that is worthless. It gets the current serving members to imagine the poverty that await them at the gate of SPLM house.

For the SPLM to truly build confidence within its yet to be constituted new PB leadership, it will be imperative to truly embrace the principal of collective leadership. The test of that collective leadership would mean to clearly identify thorny issues as narrated above and find a consensus in the national interest to overcome those differences.

Skewed division of national cake which is reflected by sons and daughters in the national government was one of the catalysts that exacerbate the eruption of war. People are more convinced about their representation in the government because of the domino effect and sphere of influence it creates than empty nationalism. What’s in it for us is a question asked quiet often by people who feel to be at the periphery of the government.

The reunified PB should expeditiously and collectively operationalize clause 27 of the Arusha Reunification Agreement by establishing the PB Working Committee. The PB Working Committee should be the sole nominating authority of all constitutional post holders’ positions rather the current trend of community lobbyist groups. This Working Committee will identify party members and other nationalist, streamline policy position and eliminate unnecessary bureaucratic delays in decision making.

Point number three in the reunification committee report talks about deliberating on how to allocate the additional seats as outlined in article 23 of Arusha Agreement. There are those in the party who have out lived their political usefulness in the PB. The political dynamics in their home turf has shifted and their political influence has withered. SPLM hierarchy alone should not be a prerequisite for political considerations rather who command the masses on the ground to truly represent the voices of his/her people. The SPLM should not clanked to those lone wolves with no following to supplement their bargaining power. A quid pro quo to liberation stalwarts to debut in the PB will invigorate the party, inject new ideas to the aging founders and keep peace across the country.

Corruption, both real and perceived has created dark watermark on the image of the SPLM and the country as a whole. It will be politically imperative for the new PB to create Ethics and Disciplinary Committee headed by senior party member. This committee should have investigative and supervisory role on all members of the party in government.

Implementing this provision will create deterrence on the fight against corruption and unethical behaviors in managing public office. Accountability should be at the forefront of the party. Past and present momentous cases must be investigated, truth documented and made public. It does not blur the fact that wrong has been committed but it tends to correct the commission of another crime.

Party intervention on state and local issues in the past has stoked grievances which ended up in conflict. State secretariat should be given some autonomy to run their local structures with little or no intervention from the national secretariat.

In conclusion, the SPLM is only capable of pulling out the country from its treacherous conflict ridden history by building consensus in the national interest. Relying on the revitalized peace agreement without zeroing on what is at the horizon, means the anti SPLM reunification advocates are fermenting bitterness that will explode like the episode of 2013.

You can reach the author via his email: Kur A. Kou <>

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made is the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël Media (PW) website. If you want to submit an opinion article, commentary or news analysis, please email it to PaanLuel Wël Media (PW) website do reserve the right to edit or reject material before publication. Please include your full name, a short biography, email address, city and the country you are writing from.

  1. kailoor says:

    Please Newton third law of motion is not use in that poor manner, correct it this way ”reaction force and action force are equal and opposite”. anything that goes around come around is not even a scientific law of itself let alone attaching it to law of motion. exaggeration.


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