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Sudan: Kiir says SPLM unity is his main concern

Posted by African Press International on May 20, 2008

Publisher Korir, source: Sudan Tribune (Sudan), by Isaac Vuni

Juba (Sudan) ? Sudan?s First Vice-President and President of Southern Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit, today opened the Second National Convention of the Sudan People?s Liberation Movement SPLM in Juba.

Kiir said he would adhere to the decisions of the current convention, saying that his main concern is the “consensus and unity of the party”.

The convention will elect the SPLM?s chairman and his deputy, secretary general and members of the political bureau through a free poll. Two SPLM leading members said they would contest against Kiir for the SPLM chairmanship. Kiir said he would be ready to step down if a new leader was chosen. Salva Kiir Mayardit said he was striving to make unity an attractive option and confirmed his full commitment to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and to reducing the obstacles facing it. However he added that the will of southerners will be respected if they decide to secede.

“We in the SPLM are doing our best to offer an attractive unity in order to achieve a new vision for Sudan. We shall respect and protect the will of the people of Southern Sudan. Even if they decide to secede, the SPLM shall continue to pursue its political agenda for a new Sudan and ensure that the two entities will exist in harmony and cooperation.” Kiir added that the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was “not an end in itself, but a step in the continuous pursuit of the new Sudan” and noted that there were still obstacles to be dealt with. “We still can create a suitable environment for bringing political views together,” he said.

With regard to the southern Sudan, Kiir said SPLM works to establish appropriate institutions of the southern Sudan government and its ten states, and to achieve southerners? welfare. “The challenge for me is to establish institutions of power throughout Southern Sudan and its states, to guarantee fair representation at all levels of government, as well as reconciliation and absorption of armed groups and organizing the SPLA into a regular army, dedicated to peace and protecting citizens”, he said. “We have to realize the aspirations of our people with their basic needs; they want shelter, health care education clean drinking water and decent means of livelihoods.”

Salva also underscored that southern Sudan government lacked adequate competent and trained personnel in key civil service positions. It lacks necessary laws, regulations and systems for good governance and prudent public financial management. The SPLM at the climax of its most difficult period, held its first National convention on 2nd April 1994 in Chukudum, Eastern Equatoria state. This second convention comes 14 years after the first convention as SPLM transformed itself into a mass vibrant national political party with five millions registered members just within three years ago, now holding the second national convention in Juba the capital of southern Sudan under the theme No to war, yes to new Sudan.

He said SPLM has taken a longer time to call for the second convention because of then war situation that does not permit holding larger meetings, besides there was also necessity to have an inclusive national convention together with SPLM supporters from with government controlled areas. That SPLM was and is still calling for creation of a New Sudan base on justice and equality to all Sudanese from Nimule to Halfa and from Geneina to Kassala. The SPLM chief explained that the 1983 manifesto was revised in order to pave way to the then changing realities within and outsides Sudan and that it will continue to be revised whenever necessary.

Since the first convention, SPLM has put up party structures with defined roles and functions. It was through such structures that SPLM setup a guideline for peaceful negotiations with the then government of the day in Khartoum under the auspices of regional and international mediators which ended in signing the comprehensive peace agreement on 9th January 2005. Kiir further explained that during the First National Convention more than 700 civil societies representatives deliberated together with armed comrades and resolved to separate the military from civilian administration, hence created the Civil Authority of the New Sudan (CAN) which later organized another meeting with more than 800 SPLA combatants and adopted plans to transform the SPLA into an organic army that is capable of protecting the whole Sudan today.

Kiir noted that late Dr. John Garang who led the people?s liberation struggle for 21 years only had 21 days to enjoy the fruits of that struggle after his inaugurations was very hearting to his comrade in the struggle.

The SPLM Chairman who is also the First Vice-President of the Republic and President of the Government of Southern Sudan paid tribute to founding members of the SPLM/A whom he descried as heroes and heroines have made their ultimate sacrifices so that we can enjoy the fruits of southern Sudanese liberation struggle and notable among them were; Kerobino Kwanyin Bol, William Nyuon Bany, Arok Thon Arok, John Kulang Puot, Nyachigak Nyashiluk, Francis Ngor Nyang, Akuot Atem de Mayen, Samuel Gai Tut, Galerio Modi Hurinyang, Martin Manieyl Ayuel, Yusif Kuwa Meki, Ager Gum,Regina Morise, Fr. Saturnino Ohure Ilangi, Dr. John Garang de Mabior, Dr. Justine Yac Arop and Dominic Dim Deng among others.

Addressing the opening session of the SPLM Second National Convention, the Vice-President of the Republic, Vice-President of the National Congress Party Ali Osmanman Taha confirmed full commitment to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. He pointed out that all Sudanese people looked forward to a strong, united Sudan. “The feelings of the sons of Sudan in the south, the east, the west, the centre and the north are feelings of unity. They are looking forward to a strong, united Sudan which represents them all, where they can all find a decent life, a country which they can all contribute to build and raise to the status it deserves among nations. These are the principles we can rely on.” Taha said.

Meanwhile the representative of European Union remarks that democracy requires respect and observance of the rule of law as fundamental bases. He congratulated SPLM quick initiative to transform itself from a movement to a democratic political party in the Sudan for the purpose of achieving political power from the central government in Khartoum. He said the European Union condemned the recent JEM attack on Khartoum, However, he says Darfur issue needs to be addressed in order to end the suffering of innocent people. Adding that the previous peace deal that was been signed in Abuja still stand. The EU representative say implementation of the CPA remains essential part for cementing peace in the whole Sudan and reminded the delegated that EU will remain a reliable partner in realizing peace in the Sudan.

The representative of Eritrean people for democracy, Mr Yamani Gabriel expressed their solidarity with the people of southern Sudan, particularly the SPLM and that Eritrean are still firm friends and would like to ensure that provision of the CPA are fully implemented by the two partners to the deal. He added that reconstruction and building southern Sudan and finding sustainable and durable peace to the people of Darfur is a most if the region is to enjoy smooth flow of businesses and stability. The opening session of the SPLM Second National Convention was attended by delegates from all the Sudanese political parties and representatives, and delegations of regional and neighbouring countries political parties


The Publisher Korir, is the Chief Editor African Press International API

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