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SPLM-IG, FDs agree to reunify the party

The ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and the Former Political Detainees (FDs) said they have agreed to reunify the party.

The two factions of the SPLM met in Ugandan capital, Kampala last week at the initiative of President Salva Kiir, the chairman of the SPLM.

Last week, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni welcomed President Kiir  and representatives of the FDs, for a meeting called for by President Kiir, which aimed at reviving the January 2015 Arusha agreement for the reunification of South Sudan’s ruling party.

Addressing the media at Juba International Airport upon their return from Kampala on Saturday, 22nd July, 2017, the SPLM acting Secretary-General, Jemma Nunu Kumba, said the party’s reunification is a prerequisite for lasting peace in South Sudan.

“The visit to Uganda was based on the initiative of President Salva Kiir in his capacity as chairman of the SPLM to unite the SPLM and bring reconciliation within the SPLM membership, especially at the leadership level”, Jemma said.

She described the meeting as “very successful”, adding that during the meeting there were cordial discussions from the participants to the meeting who expressed their willingness to reunite as a party.

“As a resolution from the meeting, the SPLM FDs and the SPLM in the Government have reaffirmed their commitment to the unity of the party. We all agreed that the unity of the SPLM is paramount, and a very important prerequisite for bringing peace to the country and for uniting the people of South Sudan.”

“We have also agreed to expedite the implementation of the Arusha Agreement, the agreement that addressed the differences that arose amongst the different SPLM leaders in 2013,” Jemma added.

The SPLM acting secretary-general divulged that the group that met last week expects the representatives of the faction of the former First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar to join them at the next meeting. “We agreed that during the next meeting (slated for Thursday 27th July) we will have other groups that were not at the last meeting—including the representatives of Dr. Riek Machar, if he allows them to come.”

Although the meeting was attended by SPLM-in Government chaired by President Kiir, and the FDs whose delegation was headed by the widow of late Dr. John Garang de Mabior, Madam Rebecca Nyandeng, some  prominent SPLM leaders like  the former Secretary-General, Mr. Pagan Amum were not present.

The details of what transpired during the meeting were not revealed to the media. But Madam Kumaba said the SPLM is ready to come together again and reconcile its members, because she believes the unity of the SPLM can also lead to the unity of the people of South Sudan.

“With united SPLA, we can plan together how to bring peace, restore stability, so that our people (who have fled the country) can come back and settle in their villages so that together we build this nation”, Madam Kumba asserted.

However, Ugandan President Museveni twitted on his personal account, following the meeting, “The people of South Sudan gave SPLM incredible political capital in the referendum and subsequent election. This should not be squandered.”

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