SPLM threatens to sue Machar over name

By William Madouk Garang

The ruling party, Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) has threatened legal suit against SPLM-IO led by Dr. Riek Machar if they refuse to relinquish the party’s name.

The SPLM first deputy Secretary-General for political affairs, Akol Paul Kordit said the acronym is an official name for SPLM party and anyone using it outside the system must desist or face full force of the law.

“The political bureau welcomes the decision of other SPLM breakaway group to form their own parties – this is their democratic right. However, the PB urges these break away groups to relinquish the name call SPLM from their organization” said Akol.

He stressed that SPLM is a certified political party registered under Political Party Act, asserting that “those in SPLM-IO who still call himself SPLM, it’s totally wrong”.

Kordit explained that when South Sudan gets its independence, it had no intention of leaving behind the name of Sudan to Arabs but in international laws splinter person has no right on historical name.

“…Many of us has strong feeling in the PB that Sudan should not be left with Mandukuros [Arabs] because Sudan in Arabic meaning Sud-ana – [which literally means black] but we concluded that in the international law the breakaway person has no right on the historical name, it remains with that person,” he noted.

“So, when you breakaway – you actually abandon that system altogether – if the SPLM-IO and anyone else name him or herself SPLM outside this SPLM – [we] insist to take them to transitional court and apply the rule of law,” he continued.

He sternly warned those who are still outside SPLM party that the ‘door of unification’ has closed and anyone who wants to apply must submit request seeking membership individually.

However, Puok Both Baluang, the press secretary in the Office of Machar on Monday, said Machar was elected through the SPLM convention and would only be replaced by the same convention when the Arusha agreement is implemented and all factions become one.

Baluang argued that the business that the ruling party engaged in last week was a restructuring of “SPLM-IG and not SPLM”.

“What has happened here in Juba days ago was not the NLC of the SPLM rather than the NLC of SPLM IG,” he said.

He maintained that the SPLM is still not yet restructured and any attempt to restructure the “historical party” has to be in line with the Arusha Agreement.

Baluang said that Machar is a signatory to the 2015 Arusha Agreement and cannot be replaced by “IG” as a faction of the SPLM Party.

“They do not have authority to replace someone elected during the convention that is according to the SPLM constitution unless the IG is using their own constitution” he said. 

According to Baluang, the SPLM-IO, FDS, and Real SPLM were not parties to the convention that took place in Juba on Friday; hence the meeting lacked the spirit of the Arusha Agreement. 

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