Juba, December 6, 2013 (SSNA) — senior leaders of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) have on Friday hold a press conference and expressed their disappointments over what they described as “dictatorial tendencies” of President Salva Kiir.
At the news conference, the members urged Kiir to immediately call the meeting of the SPLM Political Bureau and warned that if Kiir refuses to call the meeting, then, the party will act.
South Sudan’s president has removed and suspended many senior party officials from the government, saying he wants new faces in his current administration. But, Kiir’s leadership style has disgruntled so many senior party officials and ordinary citizens.
The president, according to the press statement, has “surrendered the SPLM power to opportunists and foreign agents”, a direct reference to former Khartoum NCP’s members who are now seen as Kiir’s trusted insiders. The SPLM’s senior members also said that the young nation is being driven “into chaos and disorder” by the current SPLM Chairman Salva Kiir Mayardiit.
The current political calamity within the SPLM started many months ago. On August 5, 2013, the South Sudan News Agency obtained a secret memo designed to remove members of the SPLM Political Bureau who do not support the party’s vision and or platform (previous report can be access through this link: http://www.southsudannewsagency.com/news/top-stories/splm-to-disown-members-of-political-bureau). “Our main objective is to disown members of political bureau who do not support the vision of the party. Any member who doesn’t agree with party’s platform must be rooted out”, the 1493 words document reads in part.
The memorandum was coordinated with knowledge of very few party members, let alone members of the SPLM Political Bureau or National Liberation Council.
Bellow is the original text of the press statement:
We, the members of the SPLM Political Bureau, National Liberation Council and SPLM leaders have called this press conference to enlighten our people on the internal crisis that hasengulfed the SPLM leadership and paralyzed its functions in the government and in our society. The crisis started immediately after the tragic death of the SPLM historical and eternal leader Dr. John Garang de Mabior and manifested itself in the following:-
- The anti-Garang elements inside and outside the SPLM encircled comrade Salva Kiir Mayardit’s leadership of the SPLM and the Government of Southern Sudan [2005 – 2007]. This phenomenon compromised SPLM positions vis á vis the NCP in the CPA implementation and in many incidences General Salva Kiir retreated from positions negotiated earlier by Dr. John Garang. These elements using their relationship with General Salva Kiir targeted and ostracized certain SPLM leaders and cadres they nicknamed ‘Garang’s orphans/boys’ creating schisms and precipitating open quarrels within the SPLM ranks;
- The shift in decision making process from SPLM national organs to regional and ethnic lobbies around the SPLM Chairman when it came to appointments to positions in government; that membership of the SPLM and one’s participation in the revolutionary struggle became irrelevant. The SPLM is NOT the ruling party. In practice decisions are essentially made by one person, and in most cases directed by regional and ethnic lobbies and close business associates surrounding the SPLM Chairman;
- The efforts to transform the SPLM from a liberation movement into a mass based political party have totally been frustrated by the Chairman. General Salva ignored the grassroots views and demands garnered between July and August 2012 for the SPLM re-organization. The Political Bureau, the only organ that met nonetheless it had been difficult to translate its resolutions into plans of action in the Executive or legislations in the National Assembly, because of lack of collective leadership and the paralysis of the General Secretariat;
- There is no formal communication between the party organs at the national level and those in the States, County, Payam and Boma levels. The Government drives the SPLM rather than the other way round. The SPLM Chairman now uses his executive powers as President of the Republic, relying on his Presidential ADVISOR, to manage the SPLM and the country.
The crisis reached boiling point in March 2013 when General Salva Kiir cancelled the meeting of the National Liberation Council; issued a Presidential Decree withdrawing the delegated powers from his Vice President and First Deputy Chairman. Other decrees followed including the dismissal on false grounds of the Governors of Lakes and Unity States; the dismissal and appointment of a new Cabinet and the suspension of the SPLM Secretary General. We want to assure our people that these were personal decisions by General Salva Kiir since neither the PB nor the National Liberation Council (NLC) deliberated on these decisions, which have far-reaching implications for the SPLM and the Country.
The SPLM Chairman has completely immobilized the party, abandoned collective leadership and jettisoned all democratic pretensions to decision making. The SPLM is no longer the ruling party. The leader of South Sudan Democratic Forum heads the SPLM Government Cabinet and recent infiltrators/converts from the NCP now lead the National Legislative Assembly and the Council of States respectively. The Chairman did not care to appoint second or third tier SPLM leaders and cadres to occupy these positions if he had trouble with the first tier leaders. In the Army, General Salva Kiir Mayardit has demobilized the seasoned SPLA commanders and made them redundant. This action amounts to erasing the historical legacy of the SPLM suggesting that comrade Salva Kiir is on trek to form his personal army, in the guise of Presidential Guards. General Salva Kiir intends to form his own political party linked to the NCP and has nothing to do with the historic struggle of our people.
As a result, the Chairman unconstitutionally dissolved key SPLM organs namely the Political Bureau and the National Liberation Council and the National and State Secretariat on account that their mandates had expired in May 2013. He has already instructed the State Governors, (instead of the State SPLM Secretariats,) to appoint their preferred delegates to the SPLM 3rd National Convention scheduled for February 2014. The intention is to sideline and prevent SPLM historical leaders and cadres categorized as ‘potential competitors’ from participation in the Convention. This is a very dangerous move and is likely to plunge the party and the country into the abyss.
We want to bring to the attention of the masses of our people that General Salva Kiir has surrendered the SPLM power to opportunists and foreign agents who fought against the SPLM during the war of liberation and during the CPA implementation. These actions by Salva Kiir undermine the hard won independence and sovereignty of the Republic of South Sudan.
The SPLM Chairman and President of the Republic of South Sudan has recently given away hundreds of million dollars to the Government of Sudan at a time the Government of South Sudan is in acute financial difficulties represented by delays and non-payment of salaries. The Government of South Sudan is misleading the public that it is servicing the 4.5 billion USD debt. It is not known where these monies were loaned from and on what they were spent as the country has been under austerity regime since April 2012. This is definitely a question of corruption that must be addressed together with the dura saga, the shaddy road contracts and the issue of the 75 letters of defamation of SPLM historical leaders and cadres.
The silence over the murder of the senior police officers in Yambio and Brigadier Kolor Pino in Pibor, the assassination of Isaiah Abraham and Engineer John Lewis and many other incidences of insecurity are stark cases of human rights violations, the breakdown of the rule of law and the miscarriage of justice.
The deep-seated divisions within the SPLM Leadership, exacerbated by dictatorial tendencies of the SPLM Chairman, and the dysfunctional SPLM structures from national to local levels are likely to create instability in the party and in the country. For these reasons, and out of our sincere concern about the future of our people, we the SPLM members of the Political Bureau and the Leadership of the party, are obliged to inform the public about the true state of affairs in the SPLM and how General Salva Kiir is driving our beloved Republic of South Sudan into chaos and disorder.
In order to resolve this crisis, we call on the SPLM Chairman to convene the Political Bureau to set the agenda for the National Liberation Council so as to correct the deviation from the SPLM vision and direction. And address the present challenges within the SPLM with the view of revitalizing and restoring the SPLM to the driving seat. The SPLM should hold the steering wheel of the two historical processes of nation building and state building.