SPLA were more disciplined when Dr. John Garang de Mabior was still alive

By James Ladu Modi Asuk Gwate

Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) was an organized body that fought for nearly 22 years of war-torn region of Sudan.

The SPLA fought against the government of Khartoum because of severe marginalization enforced on the South Sudanese and other none Muslims across Sudan.

And this is because, Freedom of movement and expression was not considered as an important value of human life; hence the cause of the fighting eruptedin Sudan.

So the late Dr. John Garang de Mabior became the Chairman of the SPLA/SPLM during the liberation struggle between the Sudan government and the SPLA in the southern region of Sudan in 1983.

Thus during his time as the Chairman and Commander-in-Chief, all the army and other organized forces were much disciplinedcompared to what we have now.

Dr. John Garanghas strong commands and no single army/soldier could disobey him, whenever, one was commanded to do certain job.

He is much respected and all the army were following his footstepsstrictly.

He managed to unite the SPLA/SPLM under one umbrella, than the SPLA/SPLM of today where the party is dividing and toning apart.

All the one hundred tribes of the former Sudan were in one basket and in a row.

No one could go right or left contrarily to the vision of the SPLA/SPLM during Dr. John leadership.

The slogan we have, during the liberation struggle was one united Sudan and one Sudanese people.

The visionary plan of Dr. John Garang and the rest of the comrades in the South and the North were to liberate the whole Sudan under one umbrella, and not to divide the country into two as it has happened now.

All the ideas were put into one achievable goal and one comprehensive agenda.

Nationalism was put to be the first priority of respecting human rightsnorms and beliefs as the number one element of all.

For example, whenever the soldiers arrive to the villages of those liberated areas, by then, the chiefs were kindly asked to provide food to the army.

And from there, the chief(s)could call his headmen to mobilize food for the soldiers who arrive to that village/town.

No armywas allowed to loot or take food by force during the SPLA/SPLM time, though there were some incidents reported of looting and raping in the course of the movement struggle.

Those who were found looting, raping, stealing the civilians and the whole population were punished severelyaccording to the law of the SPLA/SPLM.

They are either put in prison or dismissed from the army function immediately.

And these are the rules and regulations Dr. John Garang de Mabior had in leading the SPLA/SPLM into successful dreams, and not like the present SPLA/SPLM.

There were no sorts of jokes and funs when Dr. John Garang was still alive in running the SPLA/SPLM vision and mission to free the Sudanese from the York of slavery and marginalization.

For instance, I witnessed sevenmen (7) being killed using Firing in the former Yei River County Freedom Square in 1998.

It was around one o’clock, New Sudan local time by then, I did not know the motive of their killing.

And when I asked, what these seven men did, I was told that some of them, looted people’s property and raped their own sisters and some lost their guns intentionally.

And that is why they were sent to death by Firing during that time.

So many people were told to come to Yei Freedom Square to witness the killing of these men so that,the rest could learn from the killing of these 7 men.

I was 12 years old boy(red army) at that time. It was not the SPLA/SPLM of nowadays, who may loot, rape and kill their own brothers and sisters and afterwards they are not punished for their wrong doings.

If a general or his son killed/steal people’smoney today, and taken to prison, for further investigation, he/she can be released in the same day.

And if the case happens to proceed into the court of law, to be investigated for the wrong doings, the judge is sometimes threatened and the case is left unsolved.

These are the behaviors and conducts of the SPLA/SPLM of today both in Juba and Japan in absence of our fallen hero Dr. John Garang de Mabior.

They always do things according to their own will and decided not to honor the principles and dignity of human beings.

They grabbed people’s lands for their own use, using a forceful means against the innocent South Sudanese citizens who do not have power to defend themselves.

For example, some of the SPLA/SPLM generals and commanders have grabbed people’s lands especially in Juba city in places like Raja and the so-called Juba 2.

They did not consult the Bari community, where to settle after their return from the junglewarof 1983?

Immediately, they started grabbing lands unlawfully and failing to take note of the principles of the liberation struggle Dr. John Garang had given them.

Every SPLA/SPLM in Juba and inKhartoum is for himself/herself, but God is for all.

They have started losing the vision of the SPLA/SPLM after sleeping on the beds, with comfortable mattress and eating good food cooked with onions and tomatoes from Uganda.

As such, the party/army began losing its momentum due to lack of discipline among the organization of the SPLA/SPLM altogether.

Unlike the SPLA/SPLAM under the commands of Dr. John Garang, there was nothing of such kind, where people are grabbing individuals’properties and lands.

Frankly speaking, the SPLA/SPLM of today are not disciplined enough compared to those of our fallen leader Dr.John Garang de Mabior’sleadership.

And that is why; they aremishandlingand failing to govern the country and the SPLM party after the 2005 peace agreement up to 2016 and beyond.

They have forgotten the party’s manifestoes and running after money and power struggle for their selfish-gain, for example, the 2013 crisis was caused by SPLA/SPLM and not other parties.

And perhaps, the SPLA/SPLM is being run by the militiastoday and not the original SPLA/SPLM and that is why they are totally confused and unable to lay down the proper strategy and plans to govern the country and her people today.


The writer is an economist, political analyst and freelance journalist.

He can be reached at the email address modijamesladu@yahoo.com

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