Home | Comment & Analysis    Tuesday 3 January 2017

The SPLM/A-North: Captivated by civil political resistance!


By Elwathig Kameir

Since the launch of the "civil disobedience" initiative in November 2016, called for by several non-partisan Sudanese youth groups using cyber space, the leadership of the SPLM/A-N has not ceased its incessant chain of press statements in support of, and expressing solidarity with the peaceful youth movement, as a viable way, to reach its final aim of overthrowing Al-Bashir’s ruling regime. There is no doubt, that the reader of these frequent pronouncements would not have second thoughts that the SPLM-North emanate from a political organization that favours the adoption of peaceful political means and civil action to achieve its legitimate political objectives. In a previous piece, I had strongly argued that the “civil disobedience” experience is a lesson, for the armed movements, to learn from, more specifically to review the feasibility of armed struggle in accomplishing the very same goals. The viability of armed resistance should be at the top of the SPLMN’s agenda. (The Aftershocks of the Disobedience: What will the Government Do? Sudantribune.net (Arabic edition), 18 December, 2016). It is true that the armed movements have the right to support any peaceful movement for change, and to build ties with all political activists. However, it remains that the meaningful contribution, of an armed movement for exerting pressures on the ruling regime, rests on achieving military victories and occupying and/or liberating territories. Indeed, that was the "value added" of the SPLM/A, under the leadership of late Dr. John Garang, during the 1980s and 1990s. Tilting the balance of forces in favour of the “peaceful revolutionaries” in Khartoum eventually paved the way for toppling Nimeiri’s regime.

However, in a statement issued on the first of January 2017 the SPLM-N transcended its earlier stance of lending mere moral support to the civil resistance, to advancing specific practical proposals in the arena of peaceful political struggle. Thus, in this press statement, the Secretary-General of the Movement called on “Sudanese nationals who hold foreign passports to organize a campaign for collective return to Sudan and challenge the regime, according to a specific agreed-upon program that aims at consolidating the escalation of popular activity. If the regime took any action against them, it would then face both internal, and external condemnation from countries, from which the returnees hold travel documents and passports (because these countries) are obliged to protect them according to their internal laws. This would cause dual pressures (on the regime)”. This sounds great.

However, the call of the SPLM-N might not find a consensus or a broad-based response among the targeted population group. The Sudanese in the diaspora do not in any way represent a holistic mass, rather they profess heterogeneous doctrines and varied political beliefs. Therefore, why doesn’t the SPLM-N develop its own initiative further? This could be approached by specifically addressing, during this first phase, the Movement’s external constituency, members and close supporters. The SPLM-N has dozens of chapters and offices abroad, particularly in Europe and North America, which are supposed to be prepared to mobilize and organize on a large scale. Why doesn’t the SPLM-N, as long as it is convinced of the viability and feasibility of peaceful means of struggle, take the lead in challenging the regime on this score, while seeking to expand the proposed campaign by reaching out progressively to the rest of the Sudanese in the diaspora? Perhaps, such an approach might prove rewarding on a number of counts. First, it would bestow credibility on the Movement by being able to translate political slogans into reality, a lacking attribute among Sudanese politicians. Second, it would furnish a test of the degree of people’s embracing of, and popularity of the SPLM-N, following a long stagnation of engagement in civil political action, dating back to June 2011. Third, it would be an exercise in assessing the degree of effectiveness of this method of peaceful resistance. Fourth, it is an opportunity for providing practical training for the cadres of the Movement in the sphere of peaceful action and political networking. Above all, opting for the accomplishment of “change” through the mechanisms of peaceful political struggle, the SPLM-N would accumulate an appreciable political capital, which God Knows is desperately needed at this critical juncture.

Dr. Elwathig Kameir is a former university professor of Sociology and consultant with numerous regional and international organizations. He is also a former member of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) . He is reachable at kameir@yahoo.com

The views expressed in the 'Comment and Analysis' section are solely the opinions of the writers. The veracity of any claims made are the responsibility of the author not Sudan Tribune.

If you want to submit an opinion piece or an analysis please email it to comment@sudantribune.com

Sudan Tribune reserves the right to edit articles before publication. Please include your full name, relevant personal information and political affiliations.
Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 3 January 21:36, by Ssam

    I would suggest you Elwathig and Arman lead that "struggle" by being the first to do that ! Go to Khartoum and yourselves. Instead of telling ppl to the dirty work, risk their lives for your "struggle". Recently there were many critics of the gov civil and rebels who returned had their say and left. This parasitic opportunistic approach will fool no one.

    repondre message

  • 4 January 05:28, by eye care softgel

The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.

Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis

The 62nd anniversary of Torit popular uprising 2017-08-17 00:23:12 By Arop Madut Arop As the people of the Republic of South Sudan mark and celebrate the 62nd anniversary of August 18th, 1955 Torit uprising, it would extremely be important to recall the events (...)

What is the value of water? 2017-08-14 21:28:25 By Innocent Ntabana When you and I breathe in fresh air, the amount I inhale affects you in no way. This is because air is abundant and so there’s plenty of it to go around. We actually take it (...)

The paradox of weapons collection in Darfur 2017-08-13 09:13:14 By Mahmoud A. Suleiman As a Sudanese people who long for stability, peace and security, we have no objection to the decision to collect unlicensed weapons throughout Sudan, but our reservation (...)


Latest Press Releases

New group formed to gather Nuer in United States 2017-08-17 14:15:50 DECLARATION FOR THE FORMATION OF NUD TO BRING TOGETHER ALL NUER IN THE U.S.A Press Statement The Nuer Union For Development (NUD) The United State of America The State of Nebraska August 15, (...)

A prominent Sudan Women and Civil rights activist passed away 2017-08-14 21:09:47 The Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA) Khartoum, Sudan-August 14 2017 In the early hours of Saturday 12th August Fatima Ahmed Ibrahim, a renowned Sudanese leader of the (...)

HRW denounces "collective punishment" in South Sudan’s Wau 2017-04-15 07:06:48 Human Right Watch South Sudan: New Spate of Ethnic Killings Urgent Need for Justice; UN Should Increase Patrols in Wau (Nairobi, April 14, 2017) – Government soldiers and allied militias (...)


Copyright © 2003-2017 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.