South Sudan’s ruling SPLM makes unity top priority

From: Berhane Habtemariam <>
Date: Tue, 1 Sep 2015 21:27:39 +0200

September 1, 2015 (JUBA) - South Sudan’s governing Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) would make reconciliation, unity and forgiveness a top priority during the transitional period of the government of national unity, a leading official said on Tuesday.
JPEG - 24 kb
SPLM chairman Salva Kiir (R) greets former SG Pagan Amum (L) as Riek Machar looks on, January 14, 2010 (SPLM photo)

Former South Sudanese cabinet affairs minister, Deng Alor Kuol, said Tuesday the work of the secretary general of the SPLM, Pagan Amum, as chief administrator in the party, would be dedicated to organising the party.

“The launch of the national reconciliation would be the priority of the SPLM leadership during the transitional period. This work will be spearheaded and supported by the entire secretariat and the leadership of the SPLM to achieve peace, unity, reconciliation and forgiveness,” Kuol told Sudan Tribune in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.

“I am sure comrade Pagan Amum in his capacity as the secretary general will devote time and energy to overseeing any initiative aimed at uniting the party, uniting the ranks of the leadership and our people,” he said.

The leading official underscored that the recently signed peace should not be read as a reward or return to the status quo but rather an opportunity to allow the ruling party to correct itself and accept their actions.

“There can be no agreement with provisions satisfying the wants and desires of all the parties. Agreement world over are means of resolving problems. They are not the end to the problem. We all have to talk about peace and always nurture it for us to success as a nation. We should not let revenge rule our lives,” he added.

While stressing on the significance of the plan for national reconciliation, he left details vague on precise timetable for foreign troops to withdraw from the country, and laws disqualifying former members of the party who may be found to have masterminded and played an important role in fermenting the conflict from important jobs.

He also failed to offer a clear view on any strategy for disarming the militias, which are currently seen as the greatest security threat.

Observers are keen to note that any amnesty for militants will not apply to people who have perpetrated violent acts but would not be possible without mutually transformative engagement with partner organizations and leaders who provide various gifts and resources to the initiative.

He urged state residents to prioritise peace and provide support in the implementation of the peace deal which President Salva Kiir has signed, saying it provides an opportunity to resolving the differences and putting the country on the right path instead of putting personal ambition and interests to jeopardise efforts to bring peace to the country, following the signing of regional backed peace deal.

Kuol was one of former detainees who were detained for months by president Kiir’s government following eruption of violence in Juba in December 2013.

He was also dismissed by president Kiir before violence after he was accused of involvement in corruption involving millions of dollars while a cabinet minister.


South Sudan hints at keeping Ugandan troops despite peace deal

August 31, 2015 (JUBA) - South Sudanese government said on Monday that Uganda will not withdraw all its troops from the country as stated in the recently signed peace agreement with armed opposition, claiming the former was in the country at the behest of the latter on bilateral arrangement between two sovereign states.
JPEG - 27.3 kb
An unidentified man sits in the gun turret while leading a convoy of armoured vehicles from both the South Sudanese government forces and the Ugandan People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) in the streets of Jonglei capital Bor on 19 January 2014 (Photo: AP/Mackenzie Knowles-Coursin)

In some of the security provisions under transitional security arrangements of the new compromise peace deal signed between president Salva Kiir and armed opposition leader, Riek Machar, all foreign forces are required to leave the country within 45 days from signing of the agreement.

But Mawien Makol, South Sudanese spokesperson for the ministry of foreign affairs and international cooperation confirmed reports attributed to senior officials in the Ugandan government as saying their government and the country will instead continue to support and maintain some of its troops in the country as part of a bilateral agreement between the two countries.

“Of course in the agreement Ugandan People Defence Forces (UPDF) are supposed to leave after 45 days but before that, there was a bilateral agreement between Uganda and South Sudan. This agreement allows UPDF to come here and do the other works which is to pursue and cut down the activities of Lord Resistance Army (LRA). That thing stands there. It is not going anywhere,” Makol told reporters on Monday reiterating earlier comments asking when the Ugandan troops would withdraw.

The diplomat confirmed that reports quoting officials at the Ugandan ministry of foreign affairs were correct.

“If they leave within 45 days given in the agreement still we have to hold on [to] some of them. Not all of them will go. Some forces will have to remain in the country in accordance with the bilateral agreement. So the Ugandan officials are correct, their troops will be here to do the things that they have been doing before the war,” he said.

He explained Ugandan troops were in the country way back before the country descended into civil war, but many believe more troops were deployed in the country following the events of the December 2013 when political debates within the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) turned violent.

Ugandan senior officials made contradicting statements when their deputy foreign minister, Okello Oryem, reportedly said UPDF will not withdraw from South Sudan as it had no part in the agreement, but later on an explaining statement from the Ugandan ministry of defence said the deputy minister was misquoted and that UPDF will leave South Sudan within 45 days with exception AU contingent in Western Equatoria state.

The Ugandan contingent deployed to Western Equatoria state before the war broke out in December 2013 will remain per a previous arrangement under the African Union to hunt for the LRA.

Received on Tue Sep 01 2015 - 15:27:40 EDT

Dehai Admin
© Copyright DEHAI-Eritrea OnLine, 1993-2013
All rights reserved