Why are SPLM/A leadership betraying New Sudan Vision?

SPLM Leadership must prove it is still Holding Firm on SPLM/A Founding Visions and Objectives.

By Koang Tut Jing
August 15, 2006 (Sudan Tribune)

Currently, it is crystal clear that the movement is in fact being torn apart by enormous problems which range from betrayal, tribalism, confusion and ideology. It would be a lie if one can deny the occurrence of those issues in the past. The examples of those could be, the incident between elements of Anya Nya II and SPLA/M at Bilpam in 1983, the numerous issues that involved Kuanyin, Arok leading up to split of SPLA/M in 1991 and others like the one which landed Magar Aciek in the hand of Riek’s movement in 1995. However, not all those event when the movement’s very existence was physically and psychologically threatened than was 1991 led by current vice president of southern Sudan. This is a typical behaviour of many southern Sudanese since the Sudan got her independent from British. Since then we never ran short of destroyers of their own selves.

Nevertheless, this is not what I would like to convey; the thing I want to highlight here is that the movement is under attack from two fronts which the leadership in Juba seems not aware of it. In fact, the SPLM/A under late Garang has resisted the call to relinquish its visions and objectives from separatists and destructors in the rank and file of it. Once again those evil voices have gain enormous strength since the death of Garang and this cast doubt among ordinary Sudanese who perceive SPLM/A as national movement for all in the country. In other hand, the leadership is being made look like a southern leadership by ideologists in Khartoum. Kiir-Riek’s administration will be accountable for this if the movement fail to meet its founding principles.

SPLM/A vision always have been to achieve justice, equality, freedom and democracy for all who yearn for these in the Sudan within the context of the “New Sudan”. The Sudan which all are free and equal citizens in regardless of whether they are Africans, Arabs, Christians, Muslims, women/man. However, the SPLM/A’s leadership are one step away from destruction by ideologists in Khartoum and confusionists in the south! Our lives are in stake if the leadership in Juba continues it dangerous silence. While we wait the fundamentalists are on offensive against us determine to destroy what the movement is all about because they think the New Sudan vision is a threat against them.

The regime in Khartoum is comfortable in talking about the southern Sudan issue because an issue confined to south Sudan alone cannot question the regime legitimacy. Today, our beloved SPLM has fallen in the hand of separatists, tribalists and commercial men sitting in Juba. This tell me and my likes that the movement used its founding visions and objectives to secure power so that it leaders can exercise their domination over other marginalised communities instead of lifting them up. SPLM/A leadership must stay away from bad guys that make them abandon the cause for short sighted objectives. SPLM/A leadership has a moral duty to show concern for people who have heed their call when they were in wilderness, why not continue this path?

It was yesterday when many from Nuba Mountain died with us in their great numbers, why leave them when they need our hand the most? Statements like this is demoralising as I quote “the people of Nuba mountain have been betrayed by the SPLM/A’s leadership despite their undeniable sacrifices to the movement since 1985” (sudaneseonline). There is no doubt the movement has been invaded by infiltrators, the opportunists and trouble-makers whose aim is to hijack the people’s movement for their own commercial interest. The leadership could have stand up for all the Sudanese currently facing uphill battles in the hand of NIF instead it becoming another devil. The fact that many from the north have contributed enormously in the CPA is now a contribution for nothing.

For instance when we called upon the people of southern Blue Nile and Nuba Mountain they heeded our call and they consistently refused to abandon us, why don’t we keep our words and die together with them? This is a movement which fought the war in the name of oppressed which made it possible for the rest outside southern border to heed the call, why are SPLM/A leadership betraying this legitimate cause? Is this the end of our dream? 16 years ago, our Kiir stood as a true nationalist when he said “if we scattered the enemy we are fighting will pick us up one by one”. He said that statement to some Intifadha battalions waiting as blockade against the enemy convoys which was from Malakal to Juba in 1990. He told them that because he was emphasising more on how vital the unity of our people was at that moment.

Today, he is the destroyer of the very thing he helped build up, Kiir went as far southern Blue Nile following the footsteps of Late Francis Ngor and Kuanyin Bol which overseen the operations there before him. Was his unity stands a war slogan? If not, why leave our comrades in arm in the freezing weather alone when he supposes to stand up for them? The quitting of Nhial Deng and the abandoning of Nuba people only to be deprived off their right by opportunists who have not done anything during the cause illustrate the character of our “New Administration” in Juba. This underlines the fact how the Nuer people explained such a circumstance as this “ci rol e cam lat ke”, thus those who fought and endured the harsh weathers during the cause of struggle won’t benefit as opportunists may.

Without the unity between the oppressed in the Sudan, how will the freedom comes by? This fact is concurred in voice of various SPLM/A formations and units. Our fathers who fought the first war went as far as Congo but because the war is fought under limited objective it ended up in disgrace as Monjunun Battalion put it. They proudly claimed the SPLM/A will put this to an end, do we still have a chance of doing so given this current administration inability? We know that the SPLM/A has captivated every one eyes in the Sudan as a national movement for all which was why it is now having supporters even in the north whereas Anya Nya I didn’t, why do we want to disappoint those voices? As voice of Muor-muor put it Anya Nya I didn’t have a single northerner in it file and rank which is not a case anymore with SPLM/A, why we don’t capitalise on this? The voice of seeds at Funyudo by then said it in full pride that “we will never accept Anya Nya III”. A fact which I concurred, however with this weakness, betrayal of one’s own objectives, tribalism and confused leadership, I doubt the going!

There is no doubt the movement leadership has betrayed the marginalised society in the Sudan. There is no wonder many are currently concern more with gains as it is hard to hear SPLM/A senior member speaking up for the plight of other marginalised. According to Nuba and southern Blue Nile people point of view, the SPLM leadership has sold them out. A point that I sanction 100%. This makes them think of their plight under the system they rebelled against as in this “our women will still be taken like animals to Khartoum to be stoned and to work as slaves in the Arab homes” (Daudi). Thus, if SPLM/A leadership have humanity in them and truly representing national movement for freedom of all Sudanese from all walks, they must heed the cry of people they represent.

Let’s remember their corpses and blood which spillage nearly all parts of southern Sudan during the war by remaining committed to the basic principles of the SPLM/A. Please protect the southern Sudanese dignity by staying the cause. The strong bond between us and people of both Nuba Mountain and southern Blue Nile must not be loosen due to selfishness as this may hurt us back in the near future. The bunches in Juba must know that our kins in Nuba Mountain and Blue Nile are still the supply and our communication lines which we must want to adhere with to win the war ahead. To win a war you must have plans, strategy, tactics and how you should execute all these. Our first concern is how we should conceal our supply and communication lines from enemy!

However, the worries for me is not only the possible betrayal of our once time comrades in arms but the resentment against the people of southern Sudan as a result of neglect and selfishness from our leaders. This by no mean won’t a laughing matter. If frustration of both areas reaches a boiling point against the leadership in Juba, this is when we shall know that this administration has not only committed atrocities against the southern Sudanese but a wishful dream of independent south Sudan will vanish forever. It is high time to forget of meaningless separation view as this alienation policy won’t help our people cross safely. Our hope and success always will depend on the immediate neighbours as those from Nuba Mountain and Southern Blue Nile inhabitants plus others across the country.

As we have seen when the parties to the CPA inked the agreement, ordinary Sudanese welcomed it with ululations and joy. There were no doubt the masses in Sudan especially the marginalised communities entrusted the SPLM as a vehicle of hope. That was evident when the late leader of SPLM/A, Dr. Garang was unprecedented received in Khartoum by all walks in the country. The people of Khartoum who welcomed Garang did not do that out of curiosity or anxiety to see the man who had endured the 21 years war leading the liberation struggle. Nevertheless, they poured out in force to welcome the man who has been championing their cause for years in the bush.

I know it is currently a culture among many southern Sudanese to call someone who voice a genuine criticism as “traitor”. During the SPLIT of SPLM/A I was at odd with many and carried endless names because of what I believe in but in the end the very people who stood against my stance eventually joint the SPLM/A they despised me for supporting. History will judge us one by one! Today, with my favourable view of “New Sudan”, it becomes a cause of friction between me and some self-proclaimed separatists. Anyhow I don’t have to convince dogs!

Apart from the national issues that rocking downs the SPLM/A leaders, we have so many opportunists, tribalists and confused persons who are remote controlling the affairs of the movement in the shadow. This administration becomes where corruption is brewed since it ascending on SPLM/A leadership. I am not sure whether they can really deliver what the Sudanese people expecting from them. These are two leaders whose records in the people’s movement isn’t helpful, it won’t be surprising if we all eventually fall into the hands of those shadow evils leaders behind the scene. The lacks of command, leadership and managerial skills have been rocking them down all these times. It worth noting that the confusion which destroyed the first movement, Anya Nya I is again descending on us, one can wonder if the history is repeating itself?

Why don’t we learn from our mistakes? Apparently, the return of Kokora is just some months away. The refusal of Central Equatoria State government to make Yei a new seat for them in favour of Juba should ring the bell louder. Although, I disagree with CES government position it is time to swallow our pride and opt for Ramciel to make it a dream seat of southern Sudan Government. On top of that the Kiir administration still has big issue in hand. The so called other southern groups and some certain tribes in the south baseless accusations against others are case in point to note. Just few days ago a self-proclaimed journalist disguisedly posted an article denouncing the SPLM/A flag. This is a flag millions have perished under. It is not representing Kiir with his corrupt administration but million souls fell in it support. Those evil voices are creating more room for inter-factions fighting among the southern constituencies as they did in 1990s. Kiir and his group must watch out and stand up in protection of this flag.

Apparently, some tribes in the south are writing articles and petitioning against certain communities they dislike. One example is the Anyuak tribe members in the USA meeting with Kiir in which they raised their grievances against Lou Nuer in Akobo. At that meeting they had with the president they claimed they Anyuak have been targeted by Arab regimes in the past for hosting all southern Sudan’s movements and the Lou took advantage of this under the cover of Arabs. This is false because no Arabs targeted them nor the Lou killed them through Arabs’ support. Every tribe in the south knows that the Lou does not need backing from any organisation to carry out any task they want to do, why is Odola and his group are raising unfounded allegations? The Anyuak went as far as saying they want “solid conclusion for Akobo indigenous Anyuak conflicts with the Lou Nuer settlers”, when did the Mor Lou become settlers in the land many of their generations were born? The very settlers seemed to have been the ones liberated Akobo in conjunction with their comrades from other tribes in 1980s, it was hardly to see a single Anyuak man in all the formations and units of SPLM/A that have been deployed in Akobo by then and yet the Anyuak in USA are claiming meaningless loyalty to the SPLM/A.

If we consider the case of Anya Nya I forces in Upper Nile, the Lou were dominant and in SPLA, many sons of Lou from Akobo have lifted the name of Akobo in the various fields of battles, be it within Upper Nile, Equatoria, Bharelgazale, Blue Nile or Nuba Mountain and yet no single Anyuak did become visible as Lou were doing in SPLA. And they further claimed the dispute was imposed by Lou by occupying Akobo forcefully and committing atrocities against innocent Anyuak, when did Anyuak becomes innocents? I escaped two attempts on my life as small boy, I know who they are, and they shouldn’t lie to the media. It seems CPA is giving rise to voices that will escalate and igniting the southern crisis further, the case in point is this baseless accusation raised by Anyuak against Lou. Although, they must have real grievances, they should have avoided unfounded accusations who themselves created. I sanction the co-existence of both Anyuak and Nuer but not the way the notorious old men in the USA would like it be.

I raised these issues because the leadership need to know what is to crippled the SPLM/A as a whole in near future. I challenge Kiir to continue facilitating our march for New Sudan until we achieve it. The tribalists, confusion and the rising voice of separatists must not divert our visions and the moral duty we have for others in the Sudan. Let’s remain principle by staying the cause that have sent our southern Sudanese members of SPLA to areas outside our borders in 1980s and died there and let’s honour our covenant with those who have joint us during the struggle. And it should be clear that southern Sudan freedom lies on how tough we stand on national issues!

God bless the New Sudan and its people!

* Koang is a Sudanese Diaspora living in New Zealand and he can be reached at jkoang@hotmail.com