Sour politics of conflict and suspicion due to adversarial relationship between SPLM leaders

BZ: Akot Marial, SOUTH SUDAN, MAR/30/2013, SSN;

South Sudan is increasingly and ominously gripped by a palpable anxiety and fear in the preparation for SPLM forthcoming National Convention which precedes the expiration of the five-year term of the SPLM leadership, culminating with four SPLM luminaries expressing their interests for the top job.

Among them are Dr. Riek Machar, Pagan Amum, Madam Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior and James Wani Igga. All of whom except James Wani who’s decided to throw his weight behind Mayardit, but the rest plainly vowed challenging the incumbent SPLM Chairman Salva Kiir Mayardit in the run up to the National Convention.

Several failed attempts have been made by SPLM highest political organ, the Political Bureau, to put its house in order and to go to the national convention with just one voice as per 2008 convention, but found it outrageous this time round to convince the contestants to submit to Mayardit for another 5 year term in office.

The contenders are expressing their dissatisfaction that under Kiir’s Chairmanship, the SPLM has lost its vision and direction and needs to be rebuilt, which of course has to gain a popular support among the party members.

Eight years down the line have shown no proficiency in handling of party affairs and the nation as a whole given the current economic crisis, rampant insecurity, corruption, rebellion in the part of Jonglei and regular SAF incursion at the border areas of Kiir Addem, Warguet, Jau, to mention a few even after the withdrawal of our gallant forces.

All these amount to believing that Mayardit is losing popularity. Thus for him not to jeopardize his good deeds to the people of South Sudan, it’s therefore advisable that he should retire early and allow the party to select the best candidate among the contestants to lead the Country to the next level based on democratic principles.

Pres. Kiir has been given due respect as father of the nation and being a hero for the many remarkable achievements that he has done during the last civil war and for sailing our Country through to the shore of Independence.

As the nation gears for the ruling party national Convention, it has become a topic of discussions among the South Sudanese populace on the street and in public places both in the states and Juba. This proves a fragile situation in our Country that a wild rumour can grip the nation so quickly indicating the uncertainty and nervousness that underlie the body politic of our young nation, and graphically illustrating how precarious and precious is the stability of this recently independent State.

Nonetheless, the rumour of power struggle within SPLM rank and file masquerading as a fact surrounding the race for the top job of who will become the chairperson of SPLM as well as flag bearer come 2015 in the next convention among the SPLM luminaries.

The president of the Republic oscillated between a certain audacity and a prudent realism and indeed, that perpetual oscillation between despair and distracted joy of running a fair party politics or being rigged to widen the already despairing views of our Country.

President Kiir’s Speech during the Independent celebration on 9th July, 2011, outlining of his Vision for the future is for calmer and more confident South Sudan where endless confrontations no longer dominate the domestic agenda.

But the fate of our Country is still in the melting-pot where some leaders still think along tribal lines or rather the so-called greater regions, whatever you call them, is the cancerous disease that kills in the midst of the spirit of nationalism and unity of our people. I want to see a nation where political differences do not mean personal antagonism.

A nation which can hold its head up proudly as the nucleus of a new dynamic economic region. Above all, a nation that is free to concentrate her energies on progress and development. Only in this way shall we be able to harness our energies and confront our single greatest challenge, the challenge of poverty.

Another point of contention is how to achieve a permanent Constitution which is the supreme law of the land. It’s crystal clear that making of a constitution required the participation of its citizens and would have been tantamount that any Constitutional Review process should come after the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) convention as the two are very much interconnected when the political temperature had cooled.

But after subsequent Political Bureau meetings, little did we know that the ruling party elites would fail to forge a common ground of reaching political consensus as to who will become the SPLM chairperson and flag bearer among the SPLM leaders come 2015.

Lines have already been drawn whether on tribal backing or making allies within the perimeters of the ruling party in readiness of either unseating or maintaining the current status quo.

Britain, the United States, Japan and a number of European Union Countries condemned the excessive use of force on media censorship and silencing of journalists like the killing of political commentator, late Isaiah Abraham, and more especially our relationship with the United States of America is shaky due to alleged support to rebels in the north.

Meanwhile, the world superpowers failed to see the daily support rendered to David Yau Yau rebel in Jonglei by the Sudan government. Another case in point why the West abruptly distanced itself from our Country is that corruption is a controversial phenomenon which has attracted international censure.

Most of South Sudanese citizens condemn the doom-laden chatter of tribalism, nepotism, corruption and lack of cohesiveness among our people, saying that it would consume those who created it.

For as the silence about the forthcoming SPLM National convention sets in, with looming realignment of existing political structure, only if not handled with utmost political maturity may lead to possible split should either side lose the Chair.

This will send a signal that things won’t augur well ahead and in the aftermath of the SPLM National Convention unless otherwise our leaders put aside their political antagonism and instead strengthen the legitimacy of our new Country on a solid foundation where tribes, hatred, corruption and ethnicity don’t dominate the national agenda.

Akot Marial, is a South Sudanese citizen living in South Sudan and could be reach on


  1. James Lual Garang says:

    this a wise analysis if Mr. president could see at the positive of side of him going and resting at home without clinging to power because he has proved beyond reasonable doubt that he has failed the nation. The best is to leave the nation alone to survive from collapsing, if he does mind of the people for whom he fought tirelessly to liberate from Khartoum.

  2. Aj says:

    Allow candidates to take their seat and their supporters line behind each other with stone. Each voter will vote by stoning their prefer candidate, whoever wins with several stoning becomes the party candidate. That’s democracy in making in the new nation. This method will reduce counting votes and rigging.


  3. Peter Madual says:

    well done Mariel!
    I think it is the right time for our president to step down rather than seeking another term. According to the SPLM hierarchy, he should pave the away for the vice president. I do agree with the writer that our president is losing popularity due to several factors.

    • Peter Madual.
      Will there be another confrontation or Nasir faction if the Nuer’s political genius and prophet, Dr. Riek Machar doesn’t win the leadership of the SPLM? I’m afraid that your Uncle Riek Machar will not win the nomination or leadership of the SPLM even if President Kiir steps down. Your Uncle will either compete with Cde. James Wani Igga, Pagan Amum or Oyai Deng Ajak and will not defeat any of these comrades due to his past and poor records. Tough luck with your Uncle!

  4. BOM PET says:

    Dear Akot Marial,
    All these four mentioned in the article, are also decision-makers whether in the SPLM as the ruling Political Party or as senior officials in the government of the Republic of South Sudan as the present president Mr. Mayardit.
    Do you think any one of these leaders will change the situation of which we are in if elected to be the next president of our Republic in 2015?
    Can we better think of different faces and young blood of the party who haven’t served since 2005?

  5. This is the very policy taught by the late Dr John, the tribalism sowed in you or SPLM. We are all happy that it will touch everybody, the people of Bor are not excluded. Enjoy your own making!

  6. John N says:

    i just want to add my voice to the calling of mr president. if people are complaining that the country is leading in wrong direction under the leadership of General Kiir, so president needs to listen to his people in all parts of country and also the people of South Sudan are the ones who gave him that power. president need to form a committee to survey the general public opinion toward his achievement and failures.

  7. Henry Lual says:

    South Sudan is a new Country which does not need too much criticism.

  8. HOI SAMUEL DUT says:

    well, i agree with what kaiser William of Germany said during his reign in Germany 1914 during the Sarajevo incident that ;”survival for the fittest” the same applies to south Sudan because it takes what it takes in the country to do what you think. after all who will question your authority and that is why there are so many criticisms about SPLM the ruling party but i doubt whether the members knew that the party is a mass political party which is supposed to agitate for equality, opportunity, justice, peace and development for all south Sudanese and by all south Sudanese.
    So as a patriotic citizen, my country has been so backward economically, politically but thank God for there are no more wars and God is for all of us, after all there is no president without achievements and failures. even Napoleon Bonaparte the great had registered failures and Charles X had one achievement.
    so that’s how leadership is and caution to all who criticize presidential seats is not just a seat as you think but it is a pressure seat with burning fire on it that some of you can’t wish to seat on it.
    so stop opening your mouth don’t look at somebody’s weaknesses but focus towards your goal and be what you want to be. remember sometime good men are bad and bad men are good, it is all about love.

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