Home | Comment & Analysis    Monday 3 June 2019

Why comrade Pagan is right?

Luka Kuol,

I followed the interview of comrade (cde) Pagan with Tereza about his decision to relinquish his leadership of the SPLM Former Detainees and his utter lack of trust of the unification of the SPLM under the leadership of President Salva Kiir. Cde Pagan has eloquently and convincingly provided reasons for his decision but importantly he did not abandon his commitment to the vision of the SPLM. If cde Pagan were looking for a position, he could easily condone the status quo assumed his position as secretary general of the SPLM and allowed himself to be absorbed and rewarded with the ministerial position but he decided to be on the right side of the history and with his conscience.

Some of us supported the reunification of the SPLM but we ended up detained and arrested unlawfully, evicted from the country for organizing a healthy debate about 28 states, denied citizen status of South Sudan and currently put on the blacklist of people whose South Sudanese passports would not be renewed. While I am for the reunification of the SPLM, there is a clear lack of political will to bring such reunification to fruition as previous experiences attested the short supply of political will.

I know some members of the SPLM Detainees thought having the SPLM reunification first might expedite the implementation of the peace agreement. However, it is crystal clear that the peace agreement has not come to life and many observers cast doubt whether such an agreement would see light after the extended six months period. Unsurprisingly, Juba is even asking for the extension of one year.

So what will be the utility of the SPLM reunification if the various factions of the SPLM are unable to deliver the much-needed peace agreement by the people of South Sudan? Despite its shortfalls, the SPLM remains the only political party with the national vision to unify the people of South Sudan. SPLM will eventually prevail as it is bigger than Salva Kiir and Pagan Amum. Congratulation cde Pagan and time will judge.

The author is a Global Fellow at Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) and Fellow at Rift Valley Institute.