The SPLM, leadership, of 14 December 2013, to be exact, got divided over democratic reforms and proposal to amend both manifesto and constitution of the party to transpire with “free democracy.” The division deepened when the proposal, moved by Dr. Riek Machar and supported by members of Political Bureau: Mama Rebecca Nyandeeng, Pagan Amuom Ochiec, Deng Alor Kuol, Taban Deng Gai and Kosti Manibe, was defeated by majority votes of the Extra-Ordinary Convention of the SPLM, called for the very purpose. The disagreement over the reforms, unfortunately, generated, triggered and finally delivered the devastating fire of death from human physical brutality and starvation resulting from lack of food. The ongoing civil war in South Sudan, broke out on December 2013 in Juba, the very day the conference concluded its deliberations. Thus marking the “corner-stone” of the root cause of the conflict, though people add that the sacking of Riek from Vice Presidency and his group Ministers, by President Salva Kiir, on 27 July 2013, on charges of corruption, is considered by many political analysts as the firs blow, in the series of political blows, which seriously angered the group. The fact that the Intergovernmental Authority for Development, IGAD, did not address the root causes of war, remains a “black hole” in the Agreement for Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan, ARCSS.
In my opinion, President Yoweri Museveni is trying his best, “in good faith” and commitment to finding a genuine and acceptable peace deals for South Sudan and its suffering population. Museveni has lived the struggle for the liberation of South Sudan from domestic Arab/Islamic dominated, colonial-styled Sudan-Khartoum’s government. Museveni persistence to “stay put” in war and peace with South Sudan, as a young Pan-Africanist and as the President of the Republic of Uganda now, must be taken into serious consideration and confidence, not only by SPLM factions, but by all South Sudanese nationalists, in their mission to retrieve and find suitable peace for their country. South Sudanese ought to back this personal assiduous peace initiative from the man whose intentions are for welfare of the whole Africa and its lovely people. For example, right now, Uganda is hosting 1 million citizens of South Sudan, out of 4 million, who have fled their homes, from South Sudan, for fear of being butchered or exposed to famine and deadly starvation, by their consummate leaders.
This peace initiative being mediated and sponsored personally by President Museveni, must be honoured by the three SPLM factions: SPLM, SPLM IO and SPLM FDs. Many political analysts and I, do not limit the outcome of the ongoing reconciliation to “Arusha’s reunification of SPLM of 2014 agreement,” per se. But the SPLM should widen, transmit, expand the same democratic reforms for the coming constitutional making of the whole national. President Museveni should open up a “wider door” to route through a peaceful resolution of the conflict, based on universal liberties, freedoms, democracy and the rule of law (not rule by law). Such comprehensive democratic reforms will relieve the SPLM from being a government movement or a government party, a system of authoritarian governance the SPLM possess from 1983 to this date. There are many alternatives to pursue towards sustainable peace by breaking up, at this stage, the present political “stalemate.” The expansion of the SPLM reforms should include: (a) Inclusive national federal constitution (b) Liberal and free democracy, (c) the rule of law, and (d) inclusive political and economic institutions and modern creative destruction for immediate industrialisation. Thus avoiding extractive political and economic institutions that promote dictatorship or authoritarian system of government. Such a political arrangement is best suitable for unification of a country and its people.
By this the SPLM factions will come out with peace, unity and national construction for the whole country. Thus the partisan competition will open up, embracing the noms and principles of change of government through elections.