The 4th meeting of the NLC convened in Juba, on the 3-4 of May 2018. The NLC was convened to consider the Arusha, Tanzania, October 2014 Tripartite Reunification Agreement (TRA), among the three factions of the SPLM, SPLM IO, and SPLM Former Detainees, which was imposed by 2013 political violence, civil war, and general anarchy. The TRA which was then signed by Chairman Salva Kiir Mayardit, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, and Deng Alor Kuol, respectively, could not be implemented as scheduled. The attempts to implement it was aborted and shattered by the FDs when the reinstated Secretary-General Pagan Amum Uchiech abdicated the same in October 2014, in further pursuit for the “regime change.”
To implement the TRA, there is a need for the inclusive NLA (elected by SPLM Convention in 2008) to approve the agreement, especially the implementation matrix. All members of NLC were invited including Dr. Riek Machar Teny. Out of 142 elected members of 2018, 102 attended. But absentees included 11 dead, 16 obtained permission and 13 SPLM IO and FDs reported delayed-requested to be given 45 days through President Museveni of Uganda. It is to be recalled that Presidents, Museveni and SI SI of Egypt have taken upon themselves to assist in the implementation of the TRA, which seems to be the “missing link” to the 17 August 2015 Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan, ARCSS. The SPLM, SPLM IO, and FDs have agreed to fully come together after 45 days from 3 May to 18 June 2018. The next NLC meetings shall be attended by Presidents Museveni and SI SI.
The May-June meeting of NLC is only destined to endorse the new reunified SPLM Political Bureau, PB, and the National Secretariat. This is within the root causes of the ongoing war. It was the SPLM leadership that went to war among themselves on 15 December 2013. The conflict is sitting on the power struggle, through a use of force. The power struggle is not any longer settle through the violence or war. Such wars are already archived in the medieval Museums. The Power Struggle, as we speak, is anchored in human liberties, freedoms, democracy and the rule of law. The SPLM must embrace the political modernization and free competition.
At last, the SPLM has accepted the friendly intervention of Uganda and Egypt. This missing link shall enhance the High-Level Revitalization Forum to the successful revivification of the ARCSS. The spoilers who believe that President Salva Kiir Mayardit and former First vice president, Dr. Riek Machar Teny are the obstacles to peace are wrong. They must know that belligerences can bring peace, once they identify the root causes, learn from their mistakes and restore trust and confidence to save their national shared values. Salva and Riek must commit to the mechanism of democratic change of political power.
For those who love peace, the reunification of SPLM is the definite road to peace and prosperity of our nation. The splinter groups should support this move since our “national motto” is to find an inclusive peace and constitutional governance. Attainment of peace is within the corners of South Sudan and not in the corridors of Intergovernmental Authority on Development, IGAD, alone. Homemade peace could last long and foreign imposed peace could disappear in the disaster.
Come home, sweet home is recovering from political, economic, social and ills that have hit hard the country and its people at large.
Aldo Ajou Deng Akuey, member of the NLC.
NB. I personally attended the 3-4 May 2018 NLC meetings