February 24, 2008 (KHARTOUM) — Telar Deng, former state minister at the presidency launched a fierce attack against Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) leadership and accused its chairman Salva Kiir of being a dictator.
- Telar Deng
“There is no democracy in the SPLM and they were never democratic to start with. If they were why are their members prohibited from criticizing or blaming the chairman or the Secretary General” Deng said in an interview with the pro-government Akhir-Lahza.
“The chairman is now the center of everything in the SPLM since he is the one who expels people from the movement and the army without consulting with anyone in the political bureau he added.
Telar Deng along with Aleu Ayieny, the former state minister of interior, were expelled from SPLM’s political bureau and the national assembly as well as the SPLM’s membership in general as of December in a decree issued by Kiir.
The chairman’s decision was taken on the grounds of the report by the investigation committee that was formed to investigate Telar Deng’s statements in which he accused some SPLM members of plotting to topple Salva Kiir and Aleu Ayieny’s repeated statements in which he accused the Ugandan government of being complicit in the death of the SPLM’s former leader, John Garang.
But Deng said in the interview that he did not meet with the investigation committee though he said he appealed the decision.
The former SPLM official said that the two main reasons for his expulsion because he said that the Secretary General Pagan Amum “does not respect Salva Kiir and gives him no consideration”.
Deng said the second reason is that some people around Kiir told him that the chairman and the nominee for the secretariat “cannot be from the same region [Bahr El-Gazal] because other SPLM members won’t like it so you have to expel him so as not to jeopardize his chairmanship”.
“The SPLM chairman has no right to expel or suspend any member ; this power is vested in the political bureau” he said.
Deng said that his expulsion is in line with other non-democratic practices inside the SPLM.
“There are things happening inside the SPLM that cannot be imagined. There is a General in the SPLA named Berto Mamul who has been imprisoned for over a year and a half with no charges being brought against him. There is also Queen, John Macor and Martin Macway as well who have been detained without investigation or charges or prosecution” he said.
“The purpose of these bogus accusations and non-genuine trials is to reshuffle the cabinet and bring in new people which is what happened” he added.
Deng also noted that there is a power struggle within the SPLM between different factions.
“There is an ideological struggle between those who believe in new Sudan as a strategic direction for the SPLM in the context of getting rid of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP)” Deng said.
“Nowhere in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) does it mention anything about the new Sudan. The CPA is an agreement to end the war and achieve peace and democratic transition” he added.
He further accused some SPLM figures of seeking an alliance with Northern opposition parties to weaken the NCP.
“Why should we go to the Northern opposition parties to discuss the CPA ? If we wanted to change the agreement why did we sign it in the first place ? Why don’t we just sit down with the party who we signed the agreement with ?” he said.
The former SPLM official that this is direction taken by the “northerners” within the SPLM who are “unhappy about the CPA because it grants the south the right of self-determination”.
“Where would Yasir Arman, Malik Agar, Mansour Khalid, Deng Alor, and Luka Biong go if the South decides to secede ? They are all communists and all of the people in the SPLM Northern sector are communists with only one southerner present” he added.
Deng said that the SPLA units are hungry and “they are tying to provide food for themselves through their rifles. When they are hungry they create this anarchy we are witnessing”.
On the economic front Deng said that “there is no development in the true sense of the word”.
“There are roads and hotels inside Juba and nothing else. This is contrary to the vision of Late Dr. John Garang who said that he will move the city to the countryside. Currently it is the other way around” Deng said.
“There are no roads in the countryside or services or goods or water or health or schools. The legitimate question is that where did the oil money that add up to $3.5 billion go ? Why wasn’t the government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) able to get assistance from other countries ?” he asked.
“There are phony jobs that exist in the south that are in excess of what is needed and their salaries are higher than anywhere in the world. The junior officer in the south is paid $4,000 monthly and there are commissions with managers who do nothing with an army of employees such as commission for combating corruption and human rights” Deng added.
Deng also accused the SPLM leadership of having multi faces on the issue of unity or secession from the north.
“The SPLM in Egypt say that they are in favor of unity, in Nairobi they are for secession and in Khartoum for the new Sudan. There is no clear direction for the people to vote for. In addition to that they ignored the Nuba Mountains and Darfur. No SPLM official has bothered to visit the region since the CPA’ he said.
“They have not appointed any leaders from Nuba Mountains since Youssef Kuwa passed away because Abdel-Aziz Al-Hilu does not represent the Nuba people and he is from Darfur Masalit. We in the SPLM have no plan for developing the region who stood by us during the civil war years” he added.