Monday, April 03, 2006

SPLM Leadership Conference in Rumbek and the Lost Ministers in Khartoum!

The SPLM Leadership Conference in Rumbek which took place beginning on 1/4/06

As always, the NCP mouthpiece, Rayaam, was the first globally accessible media to publish information on the deliberation in the conference .

It says, the first vice presdident of Sudan, and president of government of Southern Sudan, Lt. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit has encouraged SPLM leadership in his opening speech to play greater role in national issues such as ending the war in Darfur and Eastern Sudan, and Abyei in order to allow SPLM to concentrate on the job of economic development of Southern Sudan and other war-affected areas.

It also reported that a number of SPLM ministers in the central government (GONU) came under intense criticism by members of SPLM leadership for "serving external interests which contradict and undermine the interests of the South."

According to Rayaam, the conference has assessed the progress in the implemenation of CPA and Abyei issue and explored the ways in which SPLM can get involved in bringing about peaceful settlement to war in Darfur, Eastern Sudan, and Abyei border problem. It also heard a report presented by the SPLM secretary Genear, Mr Pagan Amum, on the performance of SPLM political organs in the South and the North.

"Lost Ministers" in Khartoum?
No, they are not talking about the so called "Lost Boys" in America but "lost SPLM ministers" in the government of national unity (GONU) in Khartoum. For quite sometimes, many ministers who took up the SPLM's share of seats in the central government have not been visible on the political landscape since they were sworn in. However, those who were vocal and visible did so for all the wrong reasons.

Recently in Feb. 2006, Mr Tellar Ring (can't remember which ministry he is serving in) was in the news to describe the statement of Salva Kiir regarding the slowness of CPA implemenation as "personal opinion [not SPLM's?]". He then called for co-ordination and harmonisation between NCP and SPLM when communicating with the media in order to avoid sending out "contradictory message" to the world. Is that an easy thing to do when there are contradictory interests?

Then came the news of Dr Lam Akol condemning SLA and JEM former SPLM political allies) in Darfur (calling them disorgnised rebels, and other very nasty adjectives), and contradicting the statement of president Salva Kiir on the slown progess in CPA(Comprehensive Peace Agreement) implementation, and playing Osman Ismail (the former Sudan foering minister). That is, if we read Lam's statements on Darfur and the role of UN, and then comapre them with those previously made by Osman Ismail the former foreign minister of Sudan, and we would hardly notice any difference! In other words, Omer Al Bashir, Sudan president, and the NCP (National Congress Party) have lost nothing in replacing Osman Ismail with Dr Lam Akol. Surely, not everyone is pleased with such an outcome, specially the SPLM constituency.

Then we have the state minsistr in the Sudan Interior Ministry, Mr Aleu Ayeiny Aleu, coming out to openly criticise (even talk down) Mr Yasir Araman, the leader of SPLM's paliamentary group in the national assembly for lambasting the NCP policies in areas of IDPs around Khartoum and on the legal position of the national capital on Islamic laws. In the real democracy, Mr Yasir Araman should be the Cheap Whip of the SPLM party, and not Mr Aleu Ayeiny. But there you are. All out of copntrol!

Then we have Dr Peter Nyot Kok keeping a low-key while the NCP allied security forces wreak havoc on the University of Juba. Troubles at the Southern university based in Khartoum has been many over recent months and has peaked in the recent shooting and killing of one student and arest of tens of students by government security forces. All, under the watchful (or is it sleeping) eyes of Dr Nyot Kok. Worst may still to come.

Yes, these are "lost SPLM ministers in Khartoum." Unlike the so called Lost Boys in America who still remain faithful and true to their roots in Southern Sudan, these ministers seem to have lost all the connection with the motherland and with the mother party, the SPLM, and its agenda: implementation of CPA to the letter, protection of rights of marginalised African Sudanese in Khartoum and everywhere in Sudan, solidarity with marginalised people in Darfur and Eastern Sudan, a secular national capital, and the role of international community in peace-building etc.

That these ministers went there first and foremost to direct the ship called Sudan in a direction that will not only continue to serve the ineterests of National Congress, but also that of South Sudan and the whole Sudan. It would appear what they are doing with those SPLM posts no body's business. Can president Salva Kiir and SPLM leadership regain any form of control over these lost sheep?

Is the South of 21rst century still been seen as South of 1960's and 1970s? Can any of these politicians treat Southern Sudanese as if they are the same backkward people in the age of internet and dotcom?



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