Does The End Of The SPLM Mean The End Of The South Sudan State?

By Dr. Lam Akol,

Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin Chairman of SPLM-DC

Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin Chairman of Democratic Change (formerly known as SPLM-DC) (Photo-extracted).

March 19, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —- This question is provocative to the feelings of the masses of the people of South Sudan. But we raise it today not to confirm it, but to disprove the flawed logic of those who claim that the end of the SPLM is synonymous with the end of the South Sudan state. In fact, the claim is preposterous; the fate of a people can never be tied to the fate of a small group whatever service it has delivered to its people.

What prompted one to raise this strange question is that not a small number of the SPLM leaders, especially those who were thrown into jail by their comrades after the December crisis in 2013, kept reiterating that South Sudan will cease to exist if the organization known as the SPLM disappears from the scene. The last among them to say so was interviewed in “Al Maugif” newspaper for two consecutive days, the 14th and 15th instant. When asked about the unity of the SPLM, Dr. Majak D’Agoot replied: “For me it is the solution, … If the SPLM collapses, there will be no state called South Sudan, only parties such as SPLM- Bahr El Ghazal, SPLM-Nuer, SPLM-Equatoria, and so on….or unpatriotic parties.” End of quote. Such a serious statement is peddled without the slightest justification even on a theoretical level. Our interlocutor should have shown how the fate of a state is tied to the fate of a party or group or section. Did he ask himself why the state of South Sudan did not disappear when the SPLM was divided with its factions fighting each other for two full years? And where will the parties he mentioned exist if the South Sudan state is no more?

If such a logic were to stand, the state of South Sudan would have collapsed when the SPLM splintered after the December 2013 events and the talk of reunification now would have been rendered meaningless. The State of South Sudan is its people and these people existed before the SPLM and will continue to exist after its demise as is expected by many who suffered in its hands.

Those who tie the end of the South Sudan with the demise of the SPLM are those who are unwilling to face the current reality and take the requisite difficult decisions. While they acknowledge that the SPLM has lost direction, deviated from the course of the struggle, abandoned its slogans and did not provide for the people even a semblance of services and development since taking charge of South Sudan since 2005, they completely fail to recognize that such a failure which culminated in a devastating civil war requires a surgical operation that may lead to the amputation of some parts of the body that are affected by the cancer. Such a move requires, among other things, even as a last resort, the readiness to form a mass party that would restore the dreams of the masses in the revolutionary slogans and the defence of democracy and human rights; slogans the SPLM espoused in its revolutionary days and abandoned by the SPLM in government. This option becomes the more pertinent because this group boast of having a clean untainted record of struggle and that they are ”in the inner feeling of the common South Sudanese”.

Therefore, the people expect them to go to them so as to sense their feelings but don’t expect from them to be indulging in arbitrary determinations as to which party is “tribal” and which is “unpatriotic” from among patriotic parties that have chosen the path of reform and are resisting dictatorship by deeds not mere words. Because being with the masses is not an option to the group, the road must be paved for the return to the fold of the SPLM in government with excuses including that without the “unity of the SPLM”, there can exist no South Sudan state! This is the height of self-deception. Everyone knows that the intended unity is that between the horse and its jockey. With the obvious difference in the means, such a position reminds one of the position of the “Legitimate Command of the Sudanese Armed Forces”, who were three officers from the General Staff of the Sudanese army ousted by the Ingaz coup d’ etat in 1989. They left the country, after the coup, so as to struggle to topple the new regime through an armed action. However, they refused to raise an army to confront the Sudanese army arguing that they are the commanders of it!

We wish the SPLM well to unite as and when they wish. But this does not prevent one from saying that there is no room for the unity of the SPLM except under the current project of the SPLM in government, a project which concerns only power. They have no room for internal reform and other democratic demands raised in Arusha or elsewhere. The mobilization that is taking place among the elites is tied to power, therefore the line has grown very thin between the SPLM and the National Congress, for example. Leaders of the latter are now occupying top positions provided by the SPLM to its supporters, and they are the ones who defend with zeal the decisions which the interviewee has described as dictatorial, they are, in addition, the ones who expelled from the chairmanship of specialized committees in the National Legislature those who struggled for years in the ranks of the SPLM while they were leading the other side. Without power, these people would not have joined SPLM in government, and so is the case with the so many that swell the ranks of the SPLM today. This fact is undeniable.

 

We request those who tickle the feelings of the masses, that there can never be a South Sudan without the unity of the SPLM, to ask the following question: Where is this SPLM?

SPLM is not an idol to be worshiped, nor a name without which nothing exists. The SPLM is principles and ideas, programmes and plans, organization and organs. If these are abandoned, what does the name stand for? They talk about historical parties, we do not know what parties they mean. Suppose the SPLM was a historical party, do we fight over the name simply because it is historical? Where is Anya-nya? Where is the Southern Front? Where is South Sudan Liberation Movement? Are these not historical names?

Going beyond our borders, the Eritreans have struggled under the umbrella of the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) for a number of years not less than the period during which the people of South Sudan struggled under the leadership of the SPLM. However, after the independence of Eritrea the name of the front, that led the armed struggle, was changed to the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice. This action did not take away anything from the impressive record of the EPLF. What yardstick are you using?

To go back to where we started, the interviwee went on to say that the alternative to the SPLM is regional or tribal parties (he mentioned) or unpatriotic parties (he did not mention). With the exception of the last category, which needs to be clarified by him, why should the formation of such parties mark the end of South Sudan? How does he describe the parties in Kenya? Wouldn’t his description of the parties in South Sudan apply on them? Kenya now is an independent state that enjoys a central position in the continent and the region and did not end up as feuding tribes in the manner Kanu party, the ruling party by then, warned at the height of the peaceful struggle for multi-party democracy in the nineties of the last century. How telling is the similarity of argument!

 Summary:

The SPLM led the armed struggle that was crowned with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005, which stipulated that the people of South Sudan exercise their right to self-determination, this resulted in secession of South Sudan and the emergence of our current state. This achievement is for sure a credit to the SPLM. However, during the interim period, the SPLM took charge of the affairs of South Sudan opening the doors wide open for it to translate its revolutionary slogans into reality and transform itself into a democratic political party. Alas! The hopes of the people were dashed for the SPLM acted contrary to what it called for. Corruption became rampant and the comrades could not accommodate themselves any more plunging the country into a devastating and destructive civil war. After all this colossal failure, comes somebody to say that the only alternative to this movement is the end of South Sudan state. Oh God save us from ourselves.

Lam Akol is the Chairman of the main opposition party, the Democratic Change (formerly known as the SPLM – DC). This article was first published by the Stance newspaper in Juba and later by PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese bloggers.


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14 comments

  • Biem Arop Luba

    No. SPLM is a party while South Sudan is a state, parties ruled, perished and state remain steady.

  • Dear Lam Akol,

    Your party is known to all South Sudanese but problem is not from the party but to the people. It is known that any leader of that party is bind to the tribe of that leader. I personally recognize your party after removing SPLM, this word SPLM kills our people through slogan of ”New Sudan” there were many people who were killed by SPLA because they are separatist.

    • GatNor

      The same idiot splm groups with idea of Sudan unity then hunting down seperatists but now proudly enjoying the fruits of seperatist’s idea without a flinch.Never the less possibility of South Sudan bordering disintegration is real if we are honest. Again the finger pointing on who flushed South Sudsn down the toilet will eventually includes individual actors from the former unionost’s camp.

  • Bol Gatjang

    Thanknothingou so much Dr. Akol,SPLA has created too much moral chaos since 1983 in the country.Peoples had been fought bravely and yet thousands of victims who have died in struggles not recognize. Majority of them had their families even within SPLM without the government of Kiir rendering to support them. They are not even recognize as veterans instead he just ordered to killed them door to door in Juba. Therefore, SPLM nothing by itself without its ideology that destabilizing the country under the confused leader, I don’t support the existing of SPLM but I respect the choice of South Sudanese people.

    • Bol Gatjang

      I mean thanks you so much Dr. Lam Akol, disregard those typing errors, my apology.

    • Thank Dr Lam let speak out the truth and the shame will go to money lovers and un qualified politicians who look down and end up with short plan and vision.
      Keep telling people the facts

  • Dears readers of this comment, please try to have a clear vession about the concept attached to SPLM by its supporters, that splm is owning the country and its people as if splm was not created, instead it created the people and the country call the South Sudan. Second to that. some of splm supporters empathize very much that splm is the only historical liberation movement, forgetting that the leader and founder of splm went out and rebelled against the Sudan government as an officer obsorded from Anya nya armed struggle after the Addis Ababa accord in 1972. So I agreed with Dr. Lam Akol that the disappearance SPLM will not be the disappearance of South Sudan. Where are the factors that splm uses to keep the people of South Sudanese adhered and united together?. Does it mean that the ideas of keeping the people of South Sudan united pertain to only splm and its supporters. It is very absurd thinking. South Sudanese people were attracted by the idea of liberating themselves from the yolk of colonialism, not by name. Thank for your time to read this comment. Padiet Gahgah

  • concerned citizen

    You put it well. He deserves more than that. Majak D’agot does not understand what he is talking about, He should be ashamed about what the SPLA/SPLM did to south Sudanese people after CPA and creating this current crisis. his massage through recent interview does not make sense at all. Did he (majak with a small m) ask him how the family of later father continues to exist after the death of that father? Is the whole family go into grave too with father?. I found it absurd for the giant guy like him to say these words.

    For south Sudan to prosper, SPLA/ SPLM must die and it will die sooner or later depend on circumstances surround it now and on,and south Sudan people will continue to survive no matter what. The fact is that SPLM come from the formation of SPLA and the SPLA itself was born by south Sudanese people in order to serve their interest .Without people of south Sudan SPLA will not exist at all leave alone SPLM but south Sudan will exist SPLM as it used to be and it was there before for centuries . SPLA/SPLM exist because of south Sudanese people .The are the one who provide necessities SPLA/SPLM such as food and shelter sometime if not always during the struggle. Has DR ,d’agot forgotten that?. I think and I may be right if I say Dr. D’agot was in the area that is not his village during the struggle and he was feed by those strangers and now is talking the curing about of sick the party that neglect and even abuse them( those who save that struggle). this is Sad indeed.

    In addition, Dr. D’agot seems to have forgotten something that relate to his own custom . To his culture and I believe he is a dinka by origin if not fake or identity thief ,the family of the death man will continue to enjoy life with brand new husband that take care of everything in the absence of old one. Why doesn’t he apply that concept to south Sudan situation. As an educated person, he should think first a bout what he want to say before he said it. The idea of going to school is not acquiring knowledge from the institution and apply them in your daily life situation just like that. It is a combination of both, acquiring knowledge form school and culture so that those knowledge that obtained can be manipulated and used in different situation in order to achieve something good for yourself and the man kind in general. Dr.D’agot look as somebody who is interested in leadership of south Sudan and I believe that given his background up bring and nurturing during the struggle by Dr. John De mabior in the name of future leader who can fill the vacuum in the future leadership,seems not mature enough for that . The language he is using these days are damaging his reputation as a future leader and showing his state of mind disqualify him from carrying the title Dr on the top of his head . It is better for him keep quiet and not to go public right now until his time comes to ascend on intended seat if he is luck enough to do so otherwise that could turn to be or would be a day dreaming. What he is saying now in regard to SPLM party and the current south Sudan situation has exposed his narrow-minded. He seems to be concerning about Saving SPLM Leadership from collapsing and not about the catastrophe that our people are faced right now and what is going on around the country . If he is think that SPLM has done something wrong and wishing failure it collapse for the reason of destroying the country dream and image around the world because of what happened he shouldn’t have contradicted him by say the failure of SPLM to united as a party is the end of south Sudan. If the SPLM want unity , why did they divide the country into smallest tertiaries with each tribe having their own state .Did he raised the question about isolating Dinka instead being multicultural society or with others tribe in Gonglie State like the way it used to be. Let him shout loudly so that south Sudanese people hear his voice and then I am sure many people come to support his genuine course. He seems to be a nice guy sometime but he does not fit to handle the state affair of south Sudan otherwise the country would be rule from outside by alien like the way it is now . Full Stop!!

    • Giiddaaffii

      we need to know the history of South Sudan, who is fighting who? and for what reason? the SPLM/SPLA is fighting the former employees of the Khartoum’s regime. The people who once turned their gun on the SPLM/SPLA are now claiming to be patriotic citizens. it is time to stop your 1991 nonsense! otherwise, every tribe is good to rule itself!

  • Akwot

    It is not Dr. Majak D’ Agoot alone who has this idea, most of the SPLM leaders if not all think that South Sudan own by their party. And they have right to do with it whatever comes to their minds or anything they want, illusion. Instead, however, of apologizing to the people of South Sudan for killing them for no reason, they still claim that if the SPLM collapse, there will be no South Sudan; another lie. What the services did the SPLM delivered to the people of South Sudan that would be missed by them if the SPLM disappear? For me none, except killing, corruption… etc. People of South Sudan thought that the SPLM/A was a blessing, but it turned out to be a cursing party to the country. Parties will collapse/ disappear, but the country remains.

  • For how long Lam Akol wanted to be marriage? His appointment have nothing to do with general public. He should just apply maybe they can accept him. He should show that Ring to his new house’s wife.

  • Wad Nyatong

    Let me first agree that despite Dr. Majak’s in-convincing justifications, he still remains one of our intellectuals that we belief will have a brighter future in our country politics for years to come. However Dr. Majak justifications given here are still falling short and have not filled the lacuna he meant to fill. Simply because what is required now from South Sudanese is to patch up their differences and unite their ranks through their existing political dispensations against SPLM- IG (or SPLM-Jieng or Bahr-El Ghazal as Dr. Majak termed it) such that to rescue South Sudan from collapse and provide a new hope for our population and the future generations. So Dr. Majak should not preach for succumbing to this destructive establishment such that to give them more legitimacy and justification to continue experimenting on South Sudanese. Also I don’t understand how the Democratic Change Party; a party with national slogans and proclamations as stated by Dr. Majak, can be an Ethnic Party simply because it succeeded to win seats in its stronghold (by the way parties all over the world have their strongholds even in the USA and UK)?.., So whose fault is that; is it the party’s or the voters fault in the other areas of the country???. Lastly Dr. Majak is appreciating Dr. Akol struggle particularly after July 2014, so why not before that time?, why is he not appreciating that, is it because of his approval of the SPLM policies and deeds before 2014, or his dis-approval of all what Dr. Lam was doing before 2014?…

  • GatNor

    The two Dr(Akol & Agoot) can have a intellectual debate till the cows comes home and or fight with pens & words to the limiting tune of tribal grouping as they wish. They both know very well that they agree on the need for reforms and that the notion of splm/a since its inception has becometh a tool for one tribe’s domination of the political landescape of South Sudan.Thus. encouraging other tribal groupings to adopt to splm/a’s impunitive tribal culture of every bad thing in the books with a name..Bad governance, corruption, nepotism, insecurty, decrees rather than laws & order + democracy..etc.

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