ENDORSED – SPLM agree on Unification Matrix
Members of the SPLM during the meeting (photo by Jale Richard)
By Jale Richard
South Sudan’s ruling party has endorsed the revised implementation matrix for the Arusha Unification Agreement signed in 2015.
At the end of the SPLM National Liberation Council meeting on Friday, the party members unanimously endorsed the document. If implemented, it would unify the fractured party.
The meeting was attended by the members of the SPLM in government, SPLM in Opposition of the First Vice President Taban Deng Gai’s faction, and SPLM leaders/former political detainees represented by John Luk Jok. But Dr. Riek Machar’s SPLM in opposition faction boycotted the meeting.
Taban Deng Gai indicated that his faction of the SPLM-IO will be dissolved in a bid to unify the party.
“We must unite the SPLM today to move the country forward by realizing equality, justice freedom for all, unity in diversity, prosperity to all, and progress as an essential aspect for national liberation,” he told members of the SPLM party on Thursday.
“We must work to promote democracy internally in the SPLM and in the republic of South Sudan. Let those groups who don’t share an ideology with us form their political parties. Let us go for elections, let South Sudanese elect their leaders and we must work for a strong SPLM party so that our party may capture power and shall have a cohesive government for an effective service delivery,” he added.
“Let us restore our glory and bring back the SPLM that accommodate all of us and lead the nation toward just peace, justice, liberty and prosperity,” Taban said.
According to the resolutions of the SPLM Liberation Council meetings, the party organs will be restructured.
The Political Bureau will be increased from 19 to 35, the National Secretariat will be restructured, and the mode of voting on sensitive issues will be by secret ballot.
The party members who are still outside the country were called to return home and take up their previous positions. The national liberation council meeting was adjourned to be reconvened within 45 days according to the resolutions.
In November 2017 the rival factions of the SPLM signed a unification agreement to rebuild trust and confidence among them.
The deal, known as the “Declaration of Unification” was signed in Cairo, Egypt under the auspices of the Egyptian President Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni Kaguta.
It followed the Entebbe Declaration deal signed by the various factions of the SPLM in July 2017 in Entebbe, Uganda to operationalize the Arusha Agreement on the reunification of the SPLM.
The SPLM, South Sudan’s ruling party, was initially founded as the political wing of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). The party, in the aftermath of the civil war that broke out in the country in mid-December 2013, split into the SPLM-Juba faction headed by Kiir, SPLM-IO led by Machar and that of the ex-political detainees.