Home | Comment & Analysis    Sunday 17 January 2010

Should Dr. Lam be allowed to campaign in South Sudan?


By Zechariah Manyok Biar

January 16, 2010 — On January 15, 2010, the Political Bureau of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) announced the nomination of the incumbent President of South Sudan and Chairman of SPLM General Salva Kiir Mayardit as its candidate for South Sudan presidency in the upcoming elections. On the same day, the Alliance of Southern Sudan Political Parties announced that it has endorsed Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement for Democratic Change (SPLM-DC) as its candidate to run against Gen. Kiir for the presidency of South Sudan.

In the SPLM-DC nomination statement, Gurtong reports the Secretary of SPLM-DC Charles Kisanga as saying that “there have been big complains and protests from the members of the Alliance of Southern Sudan political parties operating in the Southern Sudan, that they had not been able to file candidates for many constituencies due to intimidation, bullying and arrests by SPLM security forces.” What Mr. Kisanga means by “SPLM security forces” is not clear.

However, this statement raises the question of whether Dr. Lam Akol will be free to campaign in South Sudan against Gen. Kiir or not. South Sudan Minister of Cabinet Affairs Dr. Luka Manoja instructed the Governors of ten states in South Sudan last year to allow all political parties, except SPLM-DC, in the South to conduct their activities freely. SPLM allegedly accused SPLM-DC of being the armed resistance movement that does not qualify to be a political party.

SPLM may have evidence or two that qualify SPLM-DC to be the armed resistance movement. But that may not be a good foreign policy argument in a young democracy like that of South Sudan. The problem with a young democracy is that it has no enough evidence to show that the ban of a particular political party is nothing more than the fear of tough political competition.

Every effective democracy is the one in which at least two political parties of equal strengths do compete in elections. SPLM would have the unquestioned creditability after April, 2010 elections if it allows all political parties, including SPLM-DC, to contest elections freely. Critics of SPLM always capitalize on the notion that SPLM is not popular in South Sudan, a claim that may not be true after the upcoming elections. But if SPLM-DC is not allowed to contest freely, then some losers from the opposition parties will use the ban as their point of foreign policy argument to soil the name of SPLM.

The lack of leveled political ground in South Sudan might have led some critics of SPLM to resort to wishful-thinking writings that we read these days. These critics hope that some powers somewhere may banish SPLM’s proposed candidates from political scene. Wishful-thinking politics, to me, can contribute nothing to the change that these writers are wishing for. May be what can prove them right or wrong in their wishful-thinking would be to give them a leveled political ground to let them practically and philosophically show the people of South Sudan what ideas they have for South Sudan. We the people of South Sudan also want to know during these elections if SPLM-DC is any different from the National Congress Party (NCP).

By the end of April when South Sudanese tell the world which party they admire, opposition parties will prove their claims with evidence or will probably change from trying to let the world believe that SPLM is not popular in South Sudan. We will see if SPLM is really hated by the people. Politics from then on will be based on issues that are real than propaganda far removed from reality.

Any Member of Parliament will then work hard on issues that will be appreciated by his or her constituency. This is the time that those who criticize SPLM for incompetence will show Southerners whether they really mean what they say or not.

All in all, my personal view is that it would be a wise thing for SPLM to allow Dr. Lam Akol and his party to freely campaign all over South Sudan to give South Sudanese a chance to tell the world which party they admire. Tough political competition will also result in ideas that will contribute to good governance and development in South Sudan, instead of wishful thinking that has nothing to contribute at all. Politicians should not wish other politicians bad luck in order for them to pick up the abandoned powers. All politicians must prove to people why they think they are better politicians. But this proof can happen in a leveled political ground.

Zechariah Manyok Biar is a graduate student at Abilene Christian University, Texas, USA. He just graduated with a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry and he is still pursuing a Master of Science in Social Work, specializing in Administration and Planning. For comments, contact him at email: manyok34@gmail.com

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  • 14 January 2010 11:49, by Tuaks

    Since Dr Lam Akol is a Southern Citizen , he has right to form a political Party and right to campaign.
    But if there is any criminal activity/ies recorded against him in this case he will not be allowed to campaign but to be charge of his acts.

    • 19 January 2010 08:13, by Majok Arol Dhieu

      Dr. Lam Akol is the right citizen to form a party of course but the issue is that, let him runs his compaign for his party within Juba (Capital of South Sudan)

      Who will vote for him if he keeps himself away from the people he will manage? Does that one means formation of new party to challenge the main one or to ruins it?

      I know what he means for this SPLM-DC and he will not win I am sure 100%.

  • 17 January 2010 05:34, by Mr Famous Big_Logic_Boy

    Beside all other criticism behind Lam, he is 100% a freeman to exercise his party in South, this is a wise step of showing democracy to the World. We can’t just sing of the word without prove. Democracy has it objectives when everyone is free to freedom of expression and speech. Politcially lam is an innocent man despite his pursuit of free and fair leadership.

    New Year Message continuous to inspire

    Time for tribalism has gone, 2010 is not a time to generalise tribe or community instead of one person. It is time to focus on the real issue far from tribal criticism, political party criticism, leaders criticism, and very far from abuses or insults. We should also debate far from abuses of any single commenter on ST forum, to myself I want to be a man of tolerance, peace, responsbility, respect, forgiveness, love, unity and courage . It is time to get serious and work for the betterment of my nation South Sudan Democratic Republic of Victoria, South Sudan should be call Victoria, because the long struggle is victory, CPA is victory, South Sudan liberation is victory, our insecurity will be a victory, election and referrendom are potential victories.

    I didn’t change myself because of pressure or whatsoever, it could be my 2010 resolution. For now lets start new year with fresh mind and positive ideas that will improvement the managment of South Sudan, childish comments must be ignored. Some individual comment aggressively when they are defeated in debate, this spirit must be abandon. We are here to play a game ie you get defeated or you defeat others defends on the article and the extend of your debate, but don’t insult people. This is my new year message to ST viewers, contributors, pseuds, readers and editor.

    • 17 January 2010 10:01, by Freedom Fighter

      Zechariah Manyok,

      Turely, Your articles have been so educative and helpful, and so you deserve my appericiation and thanks a lot for your dedication. I agree that it is wise to give freedom of expression and speech to every body. However, I arque that if Lam Akol is allowed to operate freely now before referendum in 2011, he will make Southern Sudan worse than it is now which will jeopardize the right of self-determination for the South. Lam Akol is very good at creating chaos and genoecides. He masterminded chaos of 1991 which resulted in Bor genocide and temporary defeat to the SPLM/A from 1991 - 1996 by Islamic terrorists ( Omer Albashir )

      • 18 January 2010 21:30, by lado26

        Lam is an evil man, and shouldn’t be allowed to campaign in Southern Sudan, lam had taken us back, he betrayed us when we were about to get our freedom, he massacared southerners in a calculated cool blood, he betrays us again with the NCP, don’t you see all this my friend. Why would we allow evil to play with us? Lam Akol is liability, and not an asset
        take it from me brother

  • 17 January 2010 06:12, by Oduck Bol

    I have never heart an idiot ideas in my life. Dr lam was born in south Sudan.

    • 17 January 2010 07:10, by Dinka Boy

      Dr Lam Akol was born in South while traitor who betray his own people and favor enemy for just money.

      • 17 January 2010 08:02, by braveheart

        what a stupid question from zacharia? isn’t Lam a south Sudaneses with a registerd party that comply with all rules of the constitution? Think before you waste space here with your stupid articles//

    • 18 January 2010 21:31, by lado26

      and so what?

  • 17 January 2010 13:43, by James Okuk Solomon

    Brother Zachariah Manyok is accusing some writers of wishful-thinking but he himself is writing wishfully too. What is wishfull thinking? It is imagining something that could happen in future that has not happened yet. Thus, any wishfull thinking could be proven tue or false by facts or concrete evidences as they unfold themselves. Wishfull thinking is part of active human brain and there should not be qualms on this, unless we want to pretend not to be rational human beings.

    Brother Zechariah, lest you know, all the SPLM-DC members believe that everybody is born to rule if he works hard for it; and nobody is born not to rule if he or she is capable of leadership. This is the motto in the SPLM-DC and Alliance of South Sudan Political Parties’s campaigns for democratic elections until genuine democratic change becomes a certain reality, especially in Southern Sudan.

    Therfore, Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin is also born to rule like Dr. John Garang and Lt. Gen. Salva Kiir, and etc., if he works hard to become a leader in any place he is eligible to do so, be it in the South, North.... etc.

    But please Brother Zechariah, could you kindly help me get your point here by answering this question: Who is pre-destined to allow Who to Campaign for Elctions in South Sudan?

    • 17 January 2010 15:39, by Deng Francis

      Dear brother Zachariah Manyok,

      I think your article is worth appreciation becuase its well articulated. Well done for not condoning what some people always say will not be allowed to happen in south sudan especially allowing SPLM - DC to operate freely in the south.

      Please continue with that spirit and dont give up giving light where there is no light irregardless of the situations.

      Many thanks,

      Deng Francis

  • 17 January 2010 13:58, by Time1

    I believe he should not because he is not acting according to political principles but is rather a proxy for NCP, stupid traitor, i don’t know who will vote for this useless man with his lack of vision.

    • 17 January 2010 19:29, by mack waweru

      Dear Brother Zechariah, your article is articulated and I personally appreciate that, but democracy has become an avenue for guiles these days to rule. Lam Akol is a demagogue, although allowed to campaign freely, his hubris will still cause his downfall in the elections. Knowing how unpopular their leader is, his supporters are fractious that I think they would cause disturbances and chaos in the South if he lost elections. Also giving his party a level of freedom in the South will be dilatory to smooth conduction of the referendum since they work to promote the policies of NCP. SPLM-DC is a greatest threat to the South and we should not downplay that for the sake of democracy.
      Below is Lam’s history.
      - He initiated 1991 split
      - Joined INQAZ in 2000 after his Fashoda Peace Agreement failed.
      - Split from INQAZ
      - Formed Justice Party
      - He Split again and formed Original Justice Party.
      Defected back again to SPLM in 2002.
      - He split again and formed SPLM-DC.

      Would we trust such a controversial person to rule us. He is not stable. I don’t hate him, but his actions are frustrating indeed.

      Mack Awer

      • 18 January 2010 21:37, by lado26

        Indeed brother, you had put it all together, we do have stupid people who think they have to back thier tribeman even when it so obvious that he is dead wrong
        People who are with Lam, they have one objective, and is to bring SPLM/A down nothing else,

    • 17 January 2010 19:38, by JOINET

      Yes! why not is man every body need, he is the charm of democracy.

      My wife and i are ready to vote for Dr.Lam not Glutton,drunkard c,oward Dinka MR. Salva Kir.

      We don’t need Kir . He is useless and Rubish Dinka.

      By Mayen

      • 17 January 2010 21:04, by mack waweru


        Your IQ, as reflected by your article and poor language command makes you insignificance to impact any matter. You don’t have justifications either to back your candidate or oppose Kiir. Even Lam Akol cannot call him the way does. You became more than Lam, even to point you would present your wife to him soon to prove your loyalty.

        Mack Awer

        • 18 January 2010 21:39, by lado26

          so do you want to change rubbish with the garbage?

      • 17 January 2010 21:18, by Ambago

        Dear Zakaria

        Thank you for realizing that the Constitution, the Law, and democracy are the way forward. I hope that the non-democratic elements in our midst who are making us look and sound like laughing stocks in the eyes of world community can learn something from you.

        Our candidates can only be allowed or barred by the constitution and the law. If these two don’t disqualify a candidate from running, then we better avoid acting like a bunch of law breakers.

        What is the essence of having a democratic elections in the first place? Kiir and his team are now in control of everything, why dont they just cancel the whole electoral process and let us see wheher they can get away with it?

        Your article has been spoiled by its authoritarian heading, as if there are some people somewhere there, who are above the constitution and the law, under whose mercy the south sudanese exist.

        Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin will contest the elections if that is OK according to the constitution. I for one, I will never vote for Salva Kiir nor Lam Akol, but should they be allowed by the constitution to run in the elections , then let it be.

        Otherwise any attempt to topple the constitution will be a disaster if some of us don’t know. And even that independence that we are talking of, if not to be conducted constitutionally and through legal channels, we will obviously reap the fruits of our miscalculations.

        Dr. JAC.Ramba

        • 14 January 2010 10:26, by Lokorai

          Mr. Zachariah,

          I don’t think your theme about allowing Dr. Lam of the SPLM-DC to contest this election freely has anything to do with his ’wishful thinking’ or call it his program of action for the people of Southern Sudan.

          I thought we were about to talk much and serious about the need to allow a level political ground for all, albeit your intention initially has been about Dr. Lam and his SPLM-DC not anything worth to consider.

          Therefore, you biased!


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