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Expected results from SPLM’s 2nd Convention


By James Okuk

May 9, 2008 — The 10th May, 2008 will mark an important point in the long awaited democratization within political parties in the Sudan before they opt to rule the Country. Here a movement which has been struggling for two decades (plus) against injustice in sharing political powers, economic wealth, and security arrangements, and also against the hegemony of Arab (Jellaba) and Islamic culture, will show the whole country, Africa and the World that it is capable of realizing democratic process without reservations or regrets. We shall miss our dear charismatic leader Dr. John Garang, our active Elder Dr. Justin Yac, our dear brother Dominic Dim, and other SPLM/A members in this convention. May God rest their souls in peace!

After having conducted its Primaries successfully at the grass-roots levels, the SPLM young party has been set to take its delegates to Juba – its stronghold – in order to revise its vision, manifesto, constitution, and programmes in the context and demands of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). CPA brought a new reality to the Sudan after the National Congress Party (NCP) accepted a win-win deal that recognized the right for Self-determination for the People of Southern Sudan with a special independent status for semi-autonomous rule and Security Arrangement under the control of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). Also in Juba the delegates will elect the party top leadership who will be entrusted and mandated to implement the agreed decisions and expectations (of the majority members) for the remaining three years of the interim period before South Sudan divorce from the North amicable.

I did my reading and studies for the mock test for this convention and came up with the following mock results. You are free to agree or disagree with me because politics is an art of the possible if not impossible. Also this is not a mathematical calculation. So please keep your nerves cool if I happen to provoke you with what I think.

The Chairman of the Party is Salva Kiir:

After considering and analysing the politicking that has been going on prior to the 2nd Convention, and also after considering some relevant factors, I came to foresee that H.E. Salva Kiir is going to be nominated unopposed by the delegates to continue as the Boss of the SPLM. These are my main justifications for this answer:

1) Kiir has a forgiving heart and a forgetting mind. He has done this in Rumbek meetings in 2004. He is humble and a man of dialogue who listens more and talks less. Kiir doesn’t retain the boat when he has crossed the river with it because he likes others to use the same boat to cross to that side too. He managed to convince Other Armed Forces (OAFs) to join the SPLA or be de-militarized. He signed Juba declaration with H.E. Paulino Matip who became his Deputy for SPLA Affairs. Only that the total integration of these forces remains a problem because they were not sincere enough to come to SPLA with few higher ranks and more lower files. Kiir was courageous to tell the OAFs that the integration will not be possibly finalized unless they arrange themselves as a modern army where the number of soldiers is more than the number of officers and commanders and not vice versa.

2) Kiir managed to control the situation when the CPA was almost becoming strangled in 2007 as a result of the pull out of the SPLM cadres from the Ministerial and Advisory positions in the Government of National Unity (GoNU). Kiir stood to his call for non-return to war situation even when H.E. President Al-Beshir threatened him with the re-activation of the Popular Defence Force – Holy Warriors or Mujahideen – to defend the borders of Northern Sudan from encroachment by Southerners as a reaction to the tunes of war drums that were beaten by some gentlemen of Abyei Area. During this created crisis, Kiir rejected the American proposal to re-adjust the CPA in the expense of Southern Sudan. With that rejection he proved that he is the Joshua for the Southerners (Junubin); the one who will lead them to total freedom from the oppressive North without any waver.

3) When H.E. Mallik Agaar came up with his proposal of Confederation for the sake of unity of the Sudan – which was welcomed by the NCP and supported by the Darfurian Movements – Kiir rejected it and proved that he is a true son of the South who is not interested at all in unity of the unattractive and unbalanced One Sudan. Also when H.E. Pagan Amum said the CPA can be revised if this can please the Darfurian Movements to sign a peace deal with Khartoum, Kiir also rejected this because he knows that the Darfurian are for Islamic Sudan even if they are not Arab.

4) When some elements within the SPLM allied with Southern Political parties and Darfurian Movements in order to strangle the CPA by postponing the Fifth Census, again our dear Kiir proved that he is a watchdog for the implementation of the CPA so that it continues to be alive (although staggering) to reach its logical end of ushering in an independent and Secular African State of South Sudan with good neighbourhood with the Islamic and Arab State of North Sudan.

For all these main reasons and others, Kiir deserves to be given another chance for SPLM Chairmanship; a chance that will take the South to its proper destiny. Of course, like any human being Kiir has his dark side but people expect his bright side to overweigh his darkness when they give him the second chance to lead the SPLM in the future challenges, opportunities, weaknesses and threats.

The Deputies of the Party’s Chairman:

Also having considered the political moves of the current deputies of H.E Salva Kiir, I am seeing that Dr. Riak Machar will continue to do well as the second man to Kiir because he has managed to work smoothly with him so far. Also it will be good for Dr. Riak to complete his mission of mediating peace between Uganda Government and Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) so that Eastern and Western Equatoria States becomes relieved from insecurities caused by these bandits who have no realistic vision for Uganda except terrorism by ‘tong-tonging’. Dr. Riak is also a committed cadre who does not suck from tax payer and oil share money of Southern Sudan in order to travel abroad for useless trips. He is also a good reconciler of communities and Protestant Churches, which are important factors for inculcation of the Culture of Peace and forgiveness in Southern Sudan. Dr. Riak is also a calm gentleman who swallows bitter pills at hard times. He can help the South by keeping the Nuers united and teaching them patience and non-anarchy for the good of South Sudan.

Of course our famous composer of Dr. Garang’s anthem of “baba ja, splm hakuma bitana, hakuma bitana Splm” – i.e. “papa has come, splm is our government, our government is splm” – will remain as the third man to Kiir. Hon. Wani Igga is known for his non-confrontation approach and he has managed to survive in all situations because of this tactics. He knows to hide his head in the sand like an Ostrich when things are very hot to touch. Though many Equatorials do not like him, he has South Sudan in his heart and he loves all Southerners (Junubin). He goes along with Dinkas even when many Equatorians hate them. Igga has managed to work smoothly with Kiir even when he has been put under pressure by his kinsmen. The people of malakal like him because of his funny stories and broken Arabic. Also the women of the SPLM respect Igga and he can manage to keep these women to remain as good supporters of the party in the coming 2009 elections for the government. Igga has managed to supervise the SPLM Primaries neutrally to the extent of accepting the lost to the current Deputy Secretary General for South Sudan Sector (Dr. Ann Itto), and also for the governor of Unity State (H.E. Taban Deng) in the democratic competition.

The Secretary General of the Party:

Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin will be the awaited Secretary General of the SPLM. He is very good at the executive work and political mobilization both at the top and at the grass-roots as he is well-experienced for this. Akol encourages youth involvement in good politics and forward thinking rather than backward pity. He does not ignore the wisdom of illiterate elders in the villages and he can address Dinkas, Nuers, Collos, and others in their own mother tongues eloquently. The Shakespearian English speakers in international arenas cannot even intimidate him. Even the Arabs Kings in the Middle East and the Gulf are amazed at his Arabic language command. The Germans cannot gossip freely near him. Dr. Lam is humble and interacts with any person regardless of his social status, race, tribe, or religion. He is not a luxury-obsessed leader; you can see this in his house furniture and in the simple food in his table. He is well qualified in managing either opposition or proponent party activities. He is also a hard worker and a good strategist who doesn’t get frustrated or resort to lies or drunkenness when things get worse and unbearable. Akol doesn’t compromise with contradictions and deviations from the agreed principles because these are never good for sustainable progress of any kind. He knows that inconsistency takes a person or a party a step forward and another or more steps backward.

Dr. Lam likes clarity of thoughts and rejects elusive ideologies that are deceptive to ordinary people who are the heart of democracy for the SPLM and the government, also the core for the success of Self-determination in the 2011 plebiscite. Kiir admires Dr. Lam and even when he removed him from the portfolio of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs it was for the sake of the unity of the party. Kiir has been taking the advice of Dr. Lam seriously because he trusts his well-calculated analyses of political issues and problems. Also Dr. Lam respects Kiir and has never insulted him in public even when some communist elements within the party tried to push Kiir to the wall to take unpopular decisions to dismiss him from the SPLM. Kiir preferred to listen to Akol’s side of the story and he got convinced of his sincerity for the good of the SPLM party by focusing on South Sudan and leaving alone the North to the NCP and their Islamic agenda as agreed in the CPA. Dr. Lam understands very well that the future of SPLM lies in South Sudan and never in North Sudan where communist have been trying to pass their agenda and spoil the hopes of Junubin in the name of the SPLM. Kiir has understood this practical strength of the party very well and has been working according to it for his own safety, safety of the SPLM, and safety of South Sudan.

The Deputy Secretary General of the party:

Hon. Abdel Aziz Adam Hilo will probably be fit to become the Deputy Secretary General because he is also a hard worker and a good organizer like Dr. Lam. During the time of struggle, the Nuba mountains has been known as the most organized liberated area of the SPLM/A because of his hard work. Hilo is also a sincere man and a non-drunkard; he has the good of the people in his heart. Hilo and Akol can go along well in organizing the SPLM robustly with clear strategies before 2009 elections and 2011 referendum. Both of them are not money hungry and will not play or run away with the fund of the party. They will use the money of the SPLM for real purpose of strengthening it to face and challenge other political giants in the Sudan. They are not going to allow weak and sycophants members to hold key positions of the Secretariat (where they only care about good pay and comfortable cars and privileges without good work for the party). Dr. Lam and Hilo will make the people of Transitional Areas to understand the need for Separation of South Sudan from the North for the sake of good and collaborative neighbourhood where our borders will be opened to them without restrictions. Dr. Lam loves late Yusif Kuwa and he will not forget Nuba even if South Sudan becomes independent in 2011. Dr. Lam will not also forget the people of Blue Nile because he lived among them when he commanded a SPLA battalion in that area in late 1980s. Hillo and Akol will ensure that Southerners continue to help the people of Transitional Areas so that they become stronger to maintain their rights in the North. And who knows, may be the South will unite again with the North in future with a Confederal system of governance on a new basis of equal, free and un-marginalized citizenship of the Sudan.

I think I am taking more space and my readers may get bored if I continue. I am omitting the negative sides of these mentioned leaders because the aim of this article is not criticism. It is not right to criticize our leaders every time because they are also human beings like you and me who can never be devils or angels. They are not infallible in their teaching like the Catholic Popes. Our leaders have credits besides which need to be acknowledged at times. So let me stop here, but this does not mean ignoring other people who might get other positions which are as important as the higher ones for the smooth running and coordination of the SPLM business as a child of the CPA. Long Live SPLM and Long Live all its cadres as they pursue their good or bad luck in the commendable SPLM democratic transformation process; a move which made donors happy in Oslo this month to pledge about Five (5) Billion US Dollars for recovery and development of the war-affected areas of the Sudan, and for building the culture of peace in the context of CPA implementation and its continuation to the logical desired end.

*James Okuk is a PhD student in Political Philosophy in the University of Nairobi. He can be reached at okukjimy@hotmail.com

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  • 10 May 2008 06:33, by James James

    Dear Okuk:

    I personally support you per your comments and those cadres whom you have recommended.
    Kiir is very decent man who have shown the reason of being in the bushe for 22 years. Kiir withstand a lot of ill advice from those who want to weaken and undermine other communities. I fully support him day and night without doubt.

    Dr. Riek is also very good leader whom I politically take him as a twin brother to Kiir, they are both humble leaders who are not thirty for the blood of other political leaders. Riek is a human being good to stay next to Kiir for positive and best results for all.

    The same goes to the other senior officers in your list. However, the way I view or you view things may not come across to others the same way it came across to me and you. Okuk, it worth to remember that, most of us still lagging behind politically, socially, and democratically. Many folks in South Sudan are unfortunitely drowned by the wave of tribalism in the extent that, one need to see his/her cousin or at least villagemate being at the top of any important list. Okuk this is not the spirite that is going to bring us to become pure nationalists, have united voice and commonly work for the freedom of our people.

    Of course Lam Akol removal was sadening issue and it was clearly motivated by tribal or hiden ambitions indirectly dressed with false allegations as he was branded to be too close to the Khartoum govermnent which he was officially asigned to do. I don’t know if all of us are familiar with what is called work ethics or duties?

    Anyway led hope that all will happen the way you and me wish.

    God bless.

    repondre message

  • 10 May 2008 06:37, by Kuachthoor

    Well, Okuk’s expections of the hierarchy of the SPLM after the convention is an insult to our hard-won freedom as Southerners, i must say. Wait a minute, some of your line-ups make perfect sense, no doubt. To be specific, your discription of Dr. Lam in relation to the responsibility you are giving him is stupid for sure. For crying out aloud, any thug can go to school, know all the languages of the world but that doesn’t make him anything more than the usual himself. Get me right, i am not suggesting that Dr. Lam can not be a good leader, but your supportive statement simply pissed me off. I do pray that the folks who would determine the structure of the party will be in their senses. Some mistakes have repercussions that last forever, be warned.

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    • 10 May 2008 09:06, by Gordon Lam

      You are right with only two people Kiir and Dr Riek BUT for Dr Lam can not be a good leader as we know his role when he was Minister i think that Dr Lam will not fit anywhere from Goss OR PATY POSITION.
      GORDON Lam

      View online : xpected results from SPLM’s 2nd Convention

      repondre message

      • 10 May 2008 09:55, by Koang Tut Jing

        This is a flawful article. He chucked it in when he is indeed support blindedly without knowing what is really in stake under Kiir and Riek. I am for dislodging both of them if there may be good and stronger candidates coming forward for chairmanship and the deputy of the SPLM. Lam do not deserve the praises as he put it. Kiir or Riek both of which their leadership cost the marginalised dearly during this short period they are in the reign of SPLM.

        If these guys lead us beyond the interim period, I am afraid our children again will fight the war under the trees of Southern Sudan, Blue Nile and Kordofane as it is going on currently in Darfur. We lost all political battles under them, what is the point of praises if we are indeed realistic?

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        • 10 May 2008 10:19, by Mr Famous Big_Logic_Boy

          Those who shed tears about the removal of Akol should cry a full basket of tears for them to get him back as our member of SPLA,should Riek repeat themsame behaviours as he did in 90s for sure he will get some cups of hot wine instead of cold water.things are in hands not in pockets like how we were living in some ages,if your living in hut it’s time to find an iron roof and get smart.

          shame on you guys for supporting Akol as Southerner

          repondre message

        • 10 May 2008 23:10, by Aphrican

          Well said mate.

          repondre message

    • 11 May 2008 04:50, by Khot Majok Tuil

      khot majok tuil
      SPLM is the eyes for the Sudan peaple to see ears for us to hear and nose to smell, absolutely to refere you to the bible it has been said hands cannot tell foot that you are part of the body because without hand, food should not take something, eyes should not tell ears that you are not part of the body as well as nose should not tell mouth that you are not the part of the body and vice visa, all in all those part of the body should remain as the one body.we shoud remain as one body in christ and as one body in our nation.

      My dear James i would like to tell you that you have hit the nail on the head. i mean to say, you have got the point, we can give Dr.Lam the second chance and remain as the watchdog on his second perfomance if he shall still excrise the tribal ruling as other said on thier commend. i should not say your idease on that point is stupid like the other rude guy said before.

      Coming to others offician i may commend that they must remain the same let us impliment the CPA agreement.
      and peace be with you on your studies James.
      khot majok Tuil in Australia

      repondre message

      • 12 May 2008 06:27, by Kuachthoor

        Khot, i greet you. Thanks for the comment on me. Am i impressed? The answer is no. Look, when you sit down and revise the histroy of the leader in question, it may become apparent to you that my comment wasn’t as rude as you thought but a mere truth. One think i am sure of is, we can’t sit back and leave our hard-won freedom in the trembling hands of a bunch of traitors. Guys, we can’t feign national unity at the expense of truth. I have always said this, and i repeat, a misplaced praise is an insult to the one who deserves it. Peace. By group 50 striker K.

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  • 10 May 2008 11:21, by Kasinu

    Dear James Okuk, My votes for you in the post of politic analyse for SPLM,

    Unfortunately, your credit is again spoil by bringing some tribal interest, talking of Dr Lam as SPLM party secretary General is no different selling the interest of Junubin to Arab, that one onion have spoil your logitical thinking, Dr Lam and Bwana Malual are the known enemies of the South.

    Dr Lam was the masterminder of 1990 tribal clashes, I know Dr Riek was behaving like a marionette failing to foresee the future of the evil they were undertaking, Just by looking at the current performance of Dr Riek and Dr Lam you will prove my claim that Dr Riek who was ill adviced have learned from the past and i hope you are right retaining him as a deputy of kiir for the total Liberation of Junubiin, Let pray that Riek is never close to ill advisors as Dr Lam did in the past.

    Dr Lam was behaving like an Arab in his former foreign ministry, No body will dare think of him in any southern Sudan affairs, One reason for the big tension and the pull out of the SPLM last year was because of Lam.

    James Wani Igga very popluar in Jonglei state as he is other states,There is no person in equatoria as he is, I personally like him best because of not accepting the wrong ideals of some of his people, he is second know visionery who will never sell the interest of the south and will work for it till end.

    Mr James more credit for hitting the achievment of our leaders and not being baise, Southerners must know if they want total liberation then they must always think of SALVA kiir as their Joshua, Salva is the only alive person in the BIG FIVE, his record is excellence, he have no any record of betray, he resisted all the ill advices that have deruin the life and the interest of some intelligient guys in southern, One think am not happy with Salva is lack of skills of retaining some visionery leaders as of Nhial Deng Nhial,

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  • 10 May 2008 15:25, by A2 4 forever

    Dear Ukuk,

    Most of us reckon exceptionally well, the full and invaluable participation made by some of our figures you have mentioned in your article above, during 21 years of struggle, however, beyond any doubt, I don’t believe there is anyone who wants those to be the all time leaders of our nation to be, so, like it or hate it, I don’t think we will allow them to lead us beyond this interim period, that is, before 2011 referendum, the reason is very simple, those whom we believe to deliver our people from the bitter poverty they have been living and to the prosperity, they unfortunately, turned out to be tyrants and corrupts who are not only looting our resources but also depriving our innocent people from tasting the fruit of the CPA!! Their fate is very near and if you want to keep them, you would better buy them an island instead of keeping them in our beloved southern Sudan, that we irrigated we the blood of our martyrs!!!!!!!!!!!!1 SPLA OHYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!! Struggle continue
    A2 UK

    repondre message

  • 10 May 2008 17:36, by Nhial Korow Wichleek

    No one can predict the outcome of the second SPLM national convention, However, only time knows what will come around. Having seen Mr. Ukok’s political prediction, I personally fell that Ukok has based his article on some facts although they may not come to reality during and after the convention. There is nothing wrong with his prediction since his analysis has no contribution to what will come around in the convention time period. One thing about Mr. Ukok is that, he is not on the ground to give us a satisfactory analysis to what is or will happen that would change the political discourse in southern sudan. It is a joke something to procrastinate about political ambition of the south without mingling with the crowd on the ground. South Sudanese will remain a brave nation until the last day

    repondre message

    • 10 May 2008 19:49, by John Yien

      In my opinion, I would like to suggest only the two leaders that we are all know.which is Kiir and Dr.Riek as some of you guys mentioned in your comments.Dr.lam can’t be mentioned at all in my opinion because lam is pro-arab in his mind.He proves it during his time as a foreign minister.there is no doubt about that.people can not even think about him for the splm leadership.
      thanks you all.God will help us to choose a good leader that will serve as with dignity and wisdom.
      John yien.

      View online : Expected results from SPLM’s 2nd Convention

      repondre message

  • 11 May 2008 23:26, by Joseph Chol DeMakuei Deny

    Dear James,

    Thanks very much for your good paper you have summitted to South Sudan Community and the Cadres you have mentioned in particular. i am very interested in the way that you have materilised your effort and bright vision about what will take place during the SPLM convention2, now it is good that we have got some few analyst in the South Sudan, who are able to give some nice points which can be the cornerstone for thinking and negotiation.

    I fully agree with you on how you have present your prediction, dispite what have remain in your heart, most of the points you have quoted may probably happen if the condition of time and place allow the possiblity to run the situation.

    The information you have given to the reader are very meaningful, But What is about Dr.Lam Akol the former Sudan minister of ex. Affairs (GoNU),
    WHO told you that SPLM will give him the post of General Secretary of the Party ?

    Dr. Lam of course he is a hard worker, he build very storic Port and concret road from Malakal Police Force Station to Malakal International Airport at the time when he was Minister of transport and ..., as his part of power sharing between South-North, when they signed Khartoum Peace Agreement his factors, and Government of Khartoum(NIF) before the defection of MOTOMBER ELSHABI, he have very nice stories that can fit to this small comment.

    to the point, no one have suggest his nomination, I was expecting to hear from you about Mr. Amum who is now running this Position, and is strungle background. but i guessed that you will write his recommendation after the SPLM convention2.

    Politics is posible where it is imposible,
    and it the Science not the simple Art as you have quoted.

    Thanks man.

    repondre message

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