Contributor's Opinion

Background of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and Army (SPLM/A)

By Aguer Rual,


SPLM Reunification agreement in 2002, a recipe to 2013 conflict(photo: file)
SPLM Reunification agreement in 2002, a recipe to 2013 conflict(photo: file)

July 16, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —— The SPLM/A and its military wing was formed in 1983 when a group of senior and junior officers from the Sudan Army and some students had met on January 1983, in Malakal to discuss the serious violation of Addis Ababa Accord by the Numery. For example transfer of the ex-anya-anya forces to north and digging of Jungeli Canal, transfer of oil refinery to the north and massive arrest of South Sudanese politicians, officials, and students across the region.

Also the abolition of autonomy government in Juba lead to its division into three region, namely Bhar el ghazal , Upper Nile and Equatoria, declaration of Islamic sharia law and September laws, killing of innocent by Arab Islamic militia forces supported by the Islamic government in Khartoum and massive slavery trade and displacement have had help to two mutinies Bor and Ayod.

Bor and Ayod mutinies were a result of Malakal meeting outcomes. The decision taken in that meeting organised by Late Kerubino Kuanyin Bol and Late William Nyon Bany was that the two commanders will fought Numery if the Numery didn’t revised his decision. Many students and politicians joined the two commanders and some measures were made so far in order to quell Numery’s orders. Col John and Albino Akol Akol and two other senior military officers from Equatoria who were absorbed into Sudan regular army were attending Malakal Meeting, but they reject the called for waging war against the Numery regime.

Lagu who were a leader of anya-anya -1, aligned to Numery and he also established what we called “KOKORA”. Lagu didn’t support the two commanders ideology instead. After Numery have seen that Southerners were not happy to extend that they will fought him, he sent a machines forces to quell Kerubino in Bor and arrest any politicians or officials who alleged to Kerubino. Tension between Kerubino and Numery were so high and military preparations were underway.

On 15 May 1983 Numery’s forces arrived Bor and on 16 May night 1983 fighting erupted in Bor twon, as a result many Numer’s soldiers were killed including senior military officials. Kerubino were seriously wounded on back, on shoulder and many part of his body were also wounded.

Abel Alier and Garang who were in Bor at that time of fighting they didn’t take part in the conflict, but it was reported that Abel remained in Bor, but Garang escaped to Ethiopia fearing that he will be killed by Numery’s military forces. While Garang arrived in Ethiopia he proclaimed to be Kerubino Kuanyin Bol instead. There were no clear reason to why Garang pretended to be call Kerubino, but when he meet Maquisto , he was recognised as Garang not Kerubino. In another development, William Nyon and those of Aguer Barac , Machar Akou Machar and Elijah on Tiap former commissioner for Ayod and Pangak have organised Ayod mutiny. This was after some Numer’s forces arrived Ayod threatening William life.

The group lead by William mutinies against Numery’s forces in Ayod successfully, resulting to killing of all Numery’s forces and captured of all military equipment. The internal power struggles by South Sudan politicians has sparked many conflicts among them, for example, Joseph Lagu and Abel, Garang with Gai Tut and Akuot Atem, Garang with the SPLM/A founding father Kerubino and William Nyon and Garang with many others, finally Ali Tamim Partak against Jieng in Wau.

Before William and Kerubino arrived in Bilfam, remorse spread that Garang and those of Akuot Atem and Gai Tut are almost to fight each other. There was no clear ideology to support their arguments. But some said it was power struggle and leadership of the movement.

At start, the SPLM manifesto defined SPLM/A as a national movement/army closely to Marxist ideology. When Kerubino and William arrived Bilfam, Bilfam headquarter of Anya-anya 2, they where mostly welcome by the leaders of the Anya-anya. Few days later they were asked to go to Itang to sort out and united Itang group. Upon our arrival to Itang situation were not so good enough, as the tension between Garang and Akuot were very high and this could cause fighting.

In Itang, some preparations of meeting to resolve the two-group conflict were planed. Day and time for meeting were scheduled and also agreed upon.

During the meeting organised by Kerubino and William, and after discussion has taken place, some arguments arisen within the meeting. The argument was between Abdella Choul Deng and Col of police David Majur Nhial Makol instead. As a result of argument, clashes erupted between Garang group and Bilfam group instead of Akuot group against Garang group. That was a great confusion and this is how the Itang wars that never end begins.

After Anya-anya 2 defeated in that Itang battle, Kerubino and William organised a meeting calling for the formation of the SPLM/A. It was said that Kerubino and William agreed to give leader ship of the movement to Garang. This offer was dislike by some co-founding father members of the movement, particularly, those of Ayod and some from Bor mutiny members. Faring that the power that was given to Garang and was strongly opposed was later used to and become policy of elimination of founding father and those who opposed Garang leadership.

For sometimes to passed many people have died including Kerubino, William and many others because of the policy of elimination.

While the movement continued to implement its objectives, it declared that “The new Sudan” and the system expected were a united and secular state that would provide social, economic and political justice for marginalise people of the peripheries. Therefore, and a result of such policy the SPLM attracted some political support from north Sudan, Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains.

The SPLM entered into political settlement with the north, but this after Numery government fallen in 1985. Many peace deals have failed because of political like of wills. But the negotiations become active when the National Salvation Revolution took power in Khartoum in 1989.

In 1990 the SPLM joined the NGA and in 1991 the SPLM/A split into two Nasr and Torit faction.

In 1995 SPLM/A opened another military offensive in eastern Sudan a join military operation with NDA.

In 2002 Machakos protocol were signed between SPLM Khartoum government and the SPLM.

In 1997 Khartoum agreement was signed between SPLM factions and Khartoum government.

In 2002, Riek re-joined SPLM/A

In 2004 political dispute arisen between Slava Kiir and Garang, but later quelled.

In 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed

In 2005 Garang died in a helicopter crash

In the same month Slava kiir was elected to succeed Garang and was appointed as first vice president of Sudan.

On 9 July 2011 South Sudan become an independence country followed referendum.

In 2013 fighting erupted between forces Loyalty to Slava Kiir and those supporting Riek Machar

In 2015 Compromise Peace Agreement was signed in Addis Ababa to end the suffering of the people.

On the 7 July 2016 another fighting erupted in J1 between Reik and Slava Kiir forces.

The author can be reached at aguerual@gmail.com

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