To SPLM leadership: time to grow up

Category: Writing aboard the Kenya Airways: A story on coming to Rwanda for the first time
Published on Tuesday, 12 May 2009 02:18
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Akol Aguek is a regular contributor for NSV
(Vermont USA) - The census results have come out giving South Sudan little over 8 million people. It was badly staged to begin with but the SPLM’s leadership even though it raised doubts about its integrity, folded at the last minute and went along with the NCP plan. Now we hear whining at the helm of Movement’s leadership about how illegitimate the census results are but they knew all along what would happen but feared to intervene and make necessary changes when it was right to do so. I hate to hear the supposed leaders whining childishly when they are responsible for letting this thing happen in the first place. This will affect the redistribution of oil revenue, thanks to future economic turnaround for such a resource to worth anything.

I once asked Deng Deng Nhial (an official at GoSS Mission Office in Washington DC) about the census while giving a lecture here at the University of Vermont on CPA implementation but his answer was “SPLM will have a say on the final results of the census”. Damn it, that is called obstructionism and it will reflect on the SPLM as being the impediment to CPA implementation. Now the Movement’s leaders have boxed themselves into choosing between the less of two bad options: going along with the NCP or objecting to its census results.

Foreign policy nightmare

No question; there appears to be a rip between the SPLM and the new US Administration. The SPLM has to deal with its possible booting by the new US Democratic Administration which has shown its clear inclination to work with the NCP to resolve Darfur issue. So far, the elders in the Democratic Party: Obama, the President; Hilary Clinton, the Secretary of State; and John Kerry, the Chairman of US Senate Foreign Relations Committee have gone on record indicating their readiness to work with Sudan Government to end the killings in Darfur. Their references to CPA normally come as footnotes in the context of bringing peace to the entire nation of Sudan. Thus far, they sidestepped questions on indictment of Omar El Bashir. Of course, Vice President, Biden and Ambassador, Dr. Susan Rice are yet to be heard but we can’t expect anything different from the above position since the boss, Obama decides what the coherent US foreign policy agenda ought to be when dealing with rogue regimes such as that of NCP in Sudan.

Upcoming election and non candidacy nightmare in the SPLM

Dr. John Garang must be spinning in his grave in Juba for a simple reason: His Movement is losing its bearing! The SPLM was a movement founded by great minds from all marginalized areas of Sudan, and which managed to rally the masses to pick up arms and fought for over 20 years while ill-equipped; underfed; and unpaid but never surrendered until a real peace was achieved.

It is now nerve wracking to see that the Movement he founded has squarely landed into the hands of leadership team that has no coherent policies and strategies to bring his long held vision of New Sudan to fruition. At the moment we do not know who is the presidential candidate running against Bashir. Is he Kiir, Riek or none of the above?

In the meantime, we hear the likes of Pagan Amum, Atem Garang de Kuek and many other influential voices in the Movement declaring victory in the upcoming election. May I ask you guys? Who is your presidential candidate? When was the election won by a party which doesn’t have a candidate?

However, I am not going to be absolute in dismissing SPLM no-presidential-candidate winning strategy because I have seen so many weird things happened and they may pull it off. And if they do, this would be a surprise to the world community. I believe Kiir will run in the end but why keep his candidacy in secret when the same candidate will go public asking for votes anyway?

I watch the other guy vying for the same position with disdain because he has no credibility left when he handed himself over to the enemy when the going got tough. I do not see why he might be seriously contemplating a run for presidency. He has to get over it and move on!

Conclusion

This Movement’s leadership needs to grow up now to show that the SPLM vision of the New Sudan hasn’t died with its founder, Dr. Garang. If the census issue is lost, then they have to deal with SPLM presidential candidacy right now by having the candidate known to the public and putting him on the campaign trails for the public to have a sense of who he is and what he stands for as their leader. They have to deal with the loss of SPLM’s credibility in the eyes of new US administration’s leaders to avoid being dumped once and for all. I am worried that the damage is already done as we now watch the NCP’s Nafie Ali Nafie, and the likes preparing the NCP new foreign policy strategy to usher in new US trust and friendship.

Enough is enough, this Movement has to go back to its vision of standing up for the downtrodden and be what it was when it was fighting the enemy in the jungles of the South Sudan and other marginalized areas. It shouldn’t be a Movement of lets-wait-and-see-what-happens and act from there.

*Akol Aguek Ngong is an MBA student at the University of Vermont; Assistant Director of Admissions at the same institution; and a regular Contributor to the New Sudan Vision. He can be reached at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.