NCP has reduced Kiir to Small Southern Sudanese leader
BY: Nhial Bol
While addressing a news conference last week in Khartoum, Rebecca Garang, the wife of our late Chairman Dr John Garang, categorically denied claims of infighting within the SPLM. She also appealed to Khartoum citizens to commemorate the first anniversary of the death of Dr Garang. The occasion will take place on July 30, 2006.
I want to emphatically say that what Rebecca has said is absolutely not true. The two remarks are false. She is making these denials simply because she is a minister in the Government of Southern Sudan. It is important that the public know the truth of the matter, because SPLM is their party and they are the ones to rescue it if it gets into difficulty.
Indeed, SPLM like any movement in the world have internal difficulties to resolve its political issues. So there is infighting within the SPLM and the general public actually feels this infighting. We want Rebecca to support Salva Kiir's leadership in both SPLM and in GoSS, but there is no point in misleading us. We know many parts of the crisis in the SPLM. The SPLM members also know. She should not abandon Kiir and the movement, come what may; but for practical democratic politics Rebecca should accept the reality that there are problems in the SPLM leadership, in particular, and in the whole movement in general. Rebecca, tell the truth and the truth shall liberate.
The crisis in SPLM started with the resignation of Nhial Deng, the former minister of Regional Cooperation. Deng is alleged to have resigned because his colleagues were not respecting him. Deng resigned because the Redemption Faction of the SPLM disappointed him. The Redemption group has the feeling that God has answered their prayers to make a coup on their behalf to take away the life of the late Chairman. Deng was seen as a stooge of the late Chairman and finally he was edged out through frustrations. Nhial Deng has done the right thing. He decided to quit GoSS. Is this not infighting in the movement.?
Salva Kiir by any measure is a leader and honest person but his association with the Redemption Faction has created a real power struggle within the SPLM. Kiir is not implementing the decisions of the movement's institutions because he has allowed the Redemption Faction to hold him hostage. The movement will develop more serious problems unless Kiir assumes the leadership role to relieve those ministers and senior officials who are undermining the expectations of the people of Southern Sudan. The ball is at Kiirís corner now. He is to choose between entertaining the wrongs of the Redemption Faction and siding with the public interests. The public interest is implementation of the CPA.
Entertaining the Redemption Faction represents corruption at all levels. This group is driving people away from the SPLM. In fact, SPLM corruption has already been initiated in the Khartoum State ministerial appointments, where all the SPLM representatives are from one tribe. The Bank of Southern Sudan (BOSS) appointments are another case of blatant corruption, where posts were advertised for public applications, but ultimately each minister in GoSS was given 15 posts to fill and the bankís governor also 15. This is sheer nepotism.
Another case of the corruption we are talking about was when the SPLM nominated 21 men as ambassadors. These appointments have robbed women of their constitutional rights. Rebecca should have influenced changes in the appointments of ambassadors to bring them in line with the constitutional requirement that women hold 25% of all Southern Sudanese posts. The Redemption Faction within the SPLM has imposed a political situation, which I believe is undermining Kiirís leadership.
SPLM is a national movement but currently the developments within the Movementís leadership will reduce it to something less than a tribal club. One tribe has already exclusively represented the South in the National Capital. This tribe came from only one of the five regions that formed New Sudan. Can we still call our movement national when the representation is reduced to tribes and clans?
We will continue to bear the yoke of repression as we did during the years of struggle but people should not deny that there are problems facing the SPLM leadership. Can we claim that SPLM is championing the New Sudan when it cannot nominate at least one woman to the diplomatic service?
Rebecca hurt the publicís feeling when she denied the differences in the SPLM. Where is Abdul Aziz Adam El Hilu, Rebecca? Those who are in the office of Kiir in Khartoum frustrated Abdul Aziz and he left the movement. Is this not a problem to the political organization of the SPLM.
The campaign against Abdul Aziz signaled many political crisis including Nhial Dengís resignation. Abdul Aziz was a strong leader, representing an entire constituency, the Nuba Mountains region, and his disappearances from the SPLM was a victory for the National Congress Party in its adversity to SPLM.
Since the day when Abdul Aziz disappeared from the movement, the Redemption Faction turned against the Northern sector as a whole. Even elements in the RF have been coaching NCP on how to destroy the SPLM Northern Sector; and the evidence was clear in the appointments of the Khartoum State government.. The Northern Sector has been denied funds with the aim to paralyze its activities. Up until the time of this writing, SPLM Northern Sector is unable to carry out its planned political recruitment campaign because elements that are in control of the partyís machinery feel that SPLM is for Southerners only.
Kiirís associates in the Presidency finished the Northern sector by deliberately embarking on an abusive North-South discourse to alienate and eventually expel Northern Sudanese from the Movement.
Rebeccaís appeal to Khartoum citizens to celebrate the first anniversary of the death of our late Chairman should have come from the people not from the SPLM. The few individuals who are in charge of the leadership gear have paralyzed SPLM in Khartoum and throughout the North.
Rebecca, tell us how can a paralyzed Northern Sector perform effectively in a city like Khartoum without money? Also, let us bear in mind that the citizens in Khartoum and elsewhere-joined SPLM to impact for changes. They did not become SPLM members only to be seen. The campaign against the Northern sector proved successful as Northern Sudanese began resigning en mass. First, it was Abdul Aziz, then Dr. Al Wathiq Kameir, Col. Waleed Hamid and many others.
Reports reaching me talk of offices of the SPLM now closing and many members renouncing their membership.
Since the day Kiir took over the leadership of SPLM Northern Sudanese who had long cherished SPLMís objectives developed the feeling that the Movement was loosing sight of its New Sudan objective. In actual fact, the movement has now turned into one of the small Southern Sudanese parties This is precisely the present state of SPLM.
NCP has always wanted to present it that way to the Sudanese people. From my own understanding, NCP has always wanted to isolate Kiir from the national scene and reduce him into a small Southern Sudanese leader.
Sometimes, some SPLM ministers sound like Janjaweed spokespersons when they speak in the Presidency or on behalf of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs or Education. Kiir's god guided policy of let us wait and see the events have failed. Kiir should move out and rescue SPLM from its miserable failings before its too late. SPLM was founded, styled and built to be a leading national movement and any deviation from the New Sudan will lead to it becoming nothing more than an personally opportunity club, which we can clearly now see.