News, Politics

 ‘We are all SPLM,’ Machar’s camp reacts to dismissal

By Tereza Jeremiah Chuei

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) of Dr. Riek Machar Teny yesterday echoed that they are still part and parcel of the historical Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) that gave birth to the SPLM-IO, SPLM-IG, SPLM-FDs and the Real SPLM.

This came as a response to the resolution of the ruling SPLM party under President Salva Kiir Mayardit to dismiss SPLM-IO Chairman and First Vice President, Dr Riek Machar Teny from the list of the SPLM Political Bureau.

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Government (SPLM-IG) headed by President Kiir held the SPLM party political bureau meeting in Juba last week where they resolved to dismiss Dr. Riek Machar and deposed secretary general Pagan Amum from being members of the political bureau.

However, in response to the purported dismissal, the Press Secretary in the Office of the First Vice President Puok Both Baluang in a statement seen by No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper condemned the decision of the SPLM to dismiss his boss.

He alleged that there are three factions within the SPLM and they are the SPLM-IG, SPLM-IO and the SPLM (Former Detainees) or the FDs, saying that none of these factions have the right to claim the name SPLM.

He added that the SPLM-IG has no right to remove Dr. Machar from the Political Bureau, citing that there is no ground as to why the IG has to take ownership of the SPLM most especially that they are faction like the IO.

Baluang also posted the question that, “What would be the reaction of the SPLM-IG if the SPLM-IO Political Bureau sat and decided to dismiss President Salva Kiir,”

Speaking to No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper, Puok said “There is no SPLM, we are all factions. Therefore SPLM-IG has no authority to dismiss leaders of SPLM of other factions at any time, when the unification is not done,”

Meanwhile in the statement seen by this newspaper, the IO stated that “this decision of SPLM-IG is distraction of the ongoing efforts being made by the parties in addressing the national crisis through implementing the R-ARCSS and Rome talks which would pave way for the SPLM faction to implement the Arusha agreement,”

“We note the fact that SPLM-IG can reorganize and restructure itself, without necessarily claiming the authority of the SPLM,” the statement added.

The SPLM deputy Secretary for Political Affairs, Mobilization and Organization, Santo Malek Anai had earlier clarified that SPLM decision to expel the First Vice President was in line with the SPLM constitution, “So according to our constitution, article 10 sub-article 1 b says the moment, you create your own party, you lose the membership,”

Anai had also said earlier that the reshuffle of the SPLM top members will not hinder the agreement and neither would it challenge the Arusha re-unification.

Arusha SPLM re-unification agreement was signed in 2015 by the split of SPLM factions which by then comprised of the FDs, SPLM-IO, and SPLM-IG.

The agreement directed all the groups to join as a team and implement the agreement as one party.

The Arusha Agreement called for revocation of the decision for dismissal of party cadres from party membership and leadership position resulting from internal conflict within the party.

Th Agreement states that the composition of the members of the Political Bureau shall be reviewed and expanded to comprise 35 members to reflect the representation of the three SPLM group, equitable representation of the States, SPLM Women League, SPLM youth League and SPLM Veterans League.

It called for an extra ordinary convention that may be convened for the sole purpose of passing the basic document agreed by the SPLM group to facilitate its registration in accordance with the provision of Political Parties act.

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