April 14, 2006 — As far South Sudanese are concerned of mismanagement, mistreatment of SPLM during twenty one years of the struggle. South Sudan nation has faced tragedies and political crises, particularly since the upheaval of the bloody 1983 against Southern separatists in Bilpam, “New Sudan” agenda which marked the delay of demand of the Right of Self-Determination for people of South Sudan Nation.
The subsequent years of the SPLM conspiracies were not only terrifying, cruel and most bloody, leaving an irremovable scare among southerner Sudanese people and on the geo-political map of South Sudan, but can also be characterized as the darkest years in the history of our country (South Sudan) and its struggle.
Tragics and disappointments were occurred during SPLM occupation and are still occurring under SPLM administration, Southerner intellectuals, and political activists became divided and hostile to each other, because of painful environment created by late leader of SPLM/A and his slogan of “New Sudan“ agenda as method for South Sudan liberation.
Among Southerners, the mutual understanding was neither an ability to link together the efforts, energy and skill of southerners to work cooperatively - creating wisely crafted, well-structured and respected political and socio-economic organizations operating meaningfully and professionally, upon which the voiceless majority of South Sudanese people, nor to collectively challenge and fight back against the uninvited, unexpected slogan of the fascistic agenda the so called “New Sudan”, which, after deposing the aging brutal dictator late John Garang on 23 October 1983, the SPLM became the uncontested and most ruthless occupied of South Sudan territory and oppressor of its people.
The newly emergent dictatorial leadership of SPLM and its leader Salva Kiir Mayardit, previously unknown in the rank of SPLA as “minister of the death“, was soon accompanied by the most appalling rural bloodshed, by mass indiscriminate executions of tens of thousands in the South Sudan, day and night, without any charge or trial; and for the first time in the history of South Sudanese people, there was a mass exodus of Southerners into neighboring countries in all directions. As historical records clearly indicate, the power grab by SPLM of army officers from the SPLA fighters and the toppling of dictatorial leadership were the beginning of massive repression of Southerners by their own successive leaders - by their own compatriots, with a total terrorization of the entire population of South Sudan that persists to the present day.
It was also after the downfall of dictatorial leadership of SPLM/A that caused internal and external conflicts and wars became a common phenomenon in every corner of South Sudan and the impact of periodic drought and famine began to be felt more heavily. It is also true that the upheaval of the 1983 “New Sudan” agenda and its consequences have changed the face of South Sudan itself, including its decline in status within the international community from a highly respected people to a beggar, and from a stable land to a battleground of newly emerging fronts and hostile groups.
Now, due to the persistent and irreparable divisions that arose among Southerner opposition groups of the period (mainly caused by internal power struggles within SPLM and widespread unfounded suspicions towards each other), most Southerners today, but especially the generation who had been in the forefront of the struggle, look back to the SPLM and its agenda the so called “New Sudan” with pain and regret for their role in the downfall of late dictator john Garang, and profound nostalgia regarding his rein. Recently, the systematic killings and atrocious crimes being inflicted upon our people (Lou-Nuer), and Nasir recently by SPLA forces under Mr. Kiir Mayardit leadership and his SPLM Government.
Without sufficient justification, the SPLA turned their guns on the civilian population in many parts of the South...the SPLM/A...degenerated into an agent of plunder, pillage and destructive conquest...The SPLA became like an army of occupation in the areas it controlled and from which the people were running away.
* Peter Chuol Gatluak, information and culture for South United Democratic Alliance (SSUDA). He can be reached at [email protected]