March 15, 2014 (JUBA) – Several senior members of the governing Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in its war ravaged Unity state have asked for high level intervention to resolve an internal rift within its local structures in Parieng County.
The division, according to a petition dated 18 February 2014 addressed to the acting SPLM Secretary General in Juba, attributed the cause of the dispute to the undemocratic political environment in Unity state and the continuous resistance for the local party holding regular meetings.
The officials behind the petition say it is to highlight the degree of growing internal dissidence against mushrooming dictatorial tendencies and unilateral acts by individual members of the SPLM across the country, some of whom have repeatedly acted outside basic rules.
“Comrade acting secretary general, our office in Pariang has been working in undemocratic environment since the SPLM chairperson has been continuously resisting the call of the county liberation council for regular meetings. The internal differences among the members of the county liberation increased in 2012 when the chairperson unilaterally dissolved the SPLM youth league despite disapproval by the county secretariat this unjustified individual decision”, partly reads the petition Sudan Tribune had seen.
The current Unity state deputy governor, Stephen Miabek Lang Miading, is the chairperson of the governing party in the area but has suffered several accusations of exhibiting practices which are immoral, undemocratic and illicit politics allegedly to silence his critics and opponents in Parieng.
The petition which bears the signatures of several senior SPLM members in Unity state as those central government level accused deputy governor of deliberately working to divide local people.
The group, who included key figures from Parieng, allege that their efforts in response to the current political and security situation in the area were stabbed in the back by the deputy governor.
“After the recent crisis in the country, the failed coup attempt on December 15, 2013, the Pariang SPLM Secretariat has been working hard with the payam [district] secretariat to mobilise youth and all the other resources to help SPLA Clear County from the rebels. To mobilise and help in transport during the war, the Parieng SPLM Secretary and a former minister of education, Them Machar Kuol, donated his own car voluntarily to facilitate movements but the SPLM chairperson came and stabbed our people in the back, just because he thinks such successful efforts would not be accredited to him”, adds the letter.
“So he came and falsely reported comrade Them Machar to the SPLA on 30th December 2013. His car and telephone were taken away for no reasons. This was not solved and was arrested by the SPLA on 8th January 2014. He spent three days in jail without charges. He was only released when they saw huge reactions. Indeed this incident demoralized the youth and supporters of the SPLM in the area that it negatively affected the role of the political wing of the SPLM in the mobilization and the unity of our people to confront the external aggression toward the county”, the group explained in the petition.
Other accusations include unilateral removal and appointment of some officials without carrying out consultations and following established procedures in accordance with the SPLM’s basic rules and regulations.
“The SPLM chairperson on 8th February issued orders appointing and replacing some officials without carrying our consultation with the members of the liberation council in the area. This is an act outside the constitution of the SPLM and therefore a clear violation of the SPLM constitution. He relieved all six members of the secretariats and directorates in the county and replaced them with his allies.”
John Chol Dengchar, Lual Wuor Piok, Chirilo Bol Luethh, Isaac Mayar Malual, Peter Dhang Dau and Daniel Awol Achuil are the members of the directorates affected the order of the chairperson.
Other members affected by the order at the secretariat include Them Machar Kuol, who was replaced by William Nyok Jaw as the new SPLM Parieng County Secretary. The latter was the Assistant Secretary for Finance.
David Thon Majok, formerly Assistant Secretary for Popular and Syndicated Organisation has been appointed deputy chairperson in the area.
The county chairperson cited article 47 under chapter 14 in the 2008 constitution of the SPLM as the powers under which he was able to dismiss the six members.
“In exercise of powers vested in me by the SPLM constitution 2008 chapter 14 under article 47 paragraph (A) (C) (D) (H), I comrade Mabek Lang Mading, the SPLM chairperson of Parieng county, do here by issued a decree for the relieve of the following comrades from the SPLM county secretariat directorates, partly reads the order dated 8th February 2014. The names of the affected are above”, he said.
Local officials in Parieng have also expressed dissatisfaction with the way deputy governor and the chairperson of the ruling party in the area had been conducting himself over the past years.
“It is true our people have not been over the past years with how Mabek Lang had been conducting himself. You know that he was the commissioner of the area for more than eight years. He was only removed when the former Taban Deng Gai noticed that his long stay in power against the will of the people in the area was already bringing him down and creating enmity between the two communities”, Deng Chol, a native of the area in Juba told Sudan Tribune on Saturday.
Simon Nyok, another native of Parieng currently visiting Juba, appealed for unity between the officials, calling on the higher levels of the SPLM to quickly intervene so that political differences within the party are contained.
“Our leaders here in Juba should not ignore what is happening in Unity state, particularly Parieng County. There is a big problem there which must be addressed immediately so that it does not developed into another situation”, Nyok warned in an interview with Sudan Tribune on Friday.
He called for love and unity among community members in the area as well as members of SPLM.
“I always feel happy whenever I see our people eating today, standing together, chatting together and laughing together and discussing issues which concerns all of us together but what I see in unity state and Parieng County in particular is a dangerous development which should not be allowed to continue,” Nyok appealed.
He added that he urges “all SPLM members in the county to be united because these wrangles would not do anything good for our people and the country. I would like our leadership to quickly pay attention to these political differences so that they are contained from developing into a big concern.”
Nyok also called on South Sudan’s religious leaders to pray for their leaders so that they are not only interested in power but also wisdom to lead the people well.
He called on all those with differences to reconcile and forgive one another so that together they may help in bring development to Parieng.
“There are no two-ways about the problems that have engulfed the party the leadership which brought us this situation in which we are has to be resolved”, he said.