OPINION – The crises in South Sudan have accumulated in several forms. That is widely known. And while efforts for democratic reforms and sustainable peace also continue to be made in various forms, finding answers to/resolving the SPLM questions/issues can contribute positively to the processes.
Recently, I authored an article titled “SPLM among Root Causes of South Sudan’s Conflict, what happened to Arusha Agreement?”
The article which has provided very important history, records and detail and can be found online for further reading on the topics involved focused majorly on the Agreement on the Re-unification of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement SPLM, which in January 2015, the three SPLM Groups: SPLM-IG, SPLM-IO and SPLM-FDs signed. In that Agreement, they acknowledged that “the failure to institutionalize and democratize the exercise of power in the SPLM is among the root causes to the crisis in South Sudan.”
Though its implementation has been slow, the Agreement made several provisions on Political, Organizational and Leadership issues to be carried out in the SPLM including on revocation of decisions for dismissal of party cadres from party membership and leadership positions resulting from the internal conflict within the party and ensuring that the “SPLM redefines its ideological direction, developmental path, the nature of its democracy, system of governance and the nature of society and state it aspires to build.”
Right now, the topic of revocation of decisions for dismissal of party cadres from party membership and leadership positions resulting from the internal conflict within the party is controversial as it is not clear whether or not those party cadres are all still committed to the Re-unification Agreement.
While efforts for sustainable peace and democratic reforms in South Sudan continue to be made in various forms and processes, in addition to the Agreement on the Re-unification of the SPLM, finding answers to/resolving the following SPLM questions/issues can contribute positively to the whole processes:
-How could the SPLA/SPLM history and achievements (both positive and negative) be best preserved in South Sudan? In Sudan, there is SPLM-North, how best could South Sudanese in the SPLM resolve existing issues, thereby contributing to sustainable peace in South Sudan, Sudan and possibly beyond? Is maintaining the name SPLM, whether by one Party, various groups or many Parties in South Sudan the only best or right thing? The SPLA has changed its name to South Sudan Peoples Defence Force SSPDF, could changing the name of the Party SPLM in South Sudan help contribute to sustainable peace? How best could such a change be done? And regarding splitting the Party officially, if that becomes the preferred choice of those involved, what could be the best and right way forward as far as the structures, properties and many things and issues of the Party are concerned?
-On the question of internal democracy within the party and the structures that are there, what could be the best way forward?
-On the factor of general elections in South Sudan, what could be the best way forward as many leaders would like to use the name SPLM for mobilization purposes and not necessarily good intentions only? And on resolving the tensions around being “more SPLM” than others in the SPLM, what could be the best and right way forward?
-Could the “dismissed” party cadres making public their stance on the following contribute to sustainable peace in South Sudan?:
-Their commitment or lack thereof to the January 2015 Agreement on the Re-unification of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement SPLM.
-On the issue of the registration status of the SPLM as a Party, per the Political Parties Act, 2012.
-On the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) provision for review of the Political Parties Act, 2012, to ensure that the Act complies with international best practices for the free and democratic registration of Political Parties in South Sudan, and permitting open registration of Parties.
And finally, what could be the best and right ways to find answers to/resolving the SPLM issues and above questions and positively contribute to sustainable peace and democratic reforms through the implementation of the R-ARCSS and other processes being pursued.
Roger Alfred Yoron Modi, a South Sudanese journalist, is the author of the book Freedom of Expression and Media Laws in South Sudan. Roger is also the Producer and Host of The Weekly Review: Making Sense of Relevant Topics and News. He has a background in law.
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