The Fifteen-Point Programme of the SPLM

The Fifteen-Point Programme of the SPLM 

Vision and Programme of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) SPLM POLITICAL SECRETARIAT 


MARCH 1998. 

1. Development and Consolidation of the SPLM. 

The SPLM is the political movement charged with providing the vision, guidance and  leadership for the achievement and consolidation of the New Sudan. All other structures of  the liberation movement, including the SPLA, shall be part of the SPLM and subordinated to  it. The SPLM shall include all aspects of the liberation struggle in its organization, and these  range from programmes of armed struggle and other forms of struggle to socio-economic  development of the New Sudan. 

The New Sudan, which is the principal objective of the SPLM, is both a trend as well as an  event, and the SPLM concept of ‘Movement’ incorporates both aspects of this objective. As a  trend, the New Sudan can be viewed as a process during which the SPLM shall transform the  country into a new state, and as an event the New Sudan is a specific political and  geographical entity that has already been achieved, and which the SPLM is already  developing and consolidating. 

This dual concept of the New Sudan, as a trend and as an event, was what was meant by the  1994 SPLM First National Convention when the delegates proclaimed in Resolution N0.1  that: ‘We, the people of the New Sudan, represented by this Convention, proclaim the birth  of the New Sudan, which, for the time being, shall consist of Bahr el Ghazal, Equatoria,  Southern Blue Nile, Southern Kordofan and Upper Nile Regions’. This conceptualization of  the New Sudan as a trend and as an event is important to stress and appreciate in the  building and consolidation of the SPLM in both the liberated New Sudan as well as in  establishing the SPLM in other parts of the Old Sudan which are still under the rule and  occupation of the NIF regime. 

SPLM structures, as contained in its constitution, will therefore be built in all areas of the  liberated New Sudan (Bahr el Ghazal, Equatoria, Southern Blue Nile, Southern Kordofan and  Upper Nile Regions) as well as in other areas of the Sudan that the Movement has not yet  reached, so that there are regional SPLM branches established in Western, Eastern, Central  and Northern Sudan. 

SPLM cells will also be established and consolidated in Khartoum and other urban centers in  Northern Sudan, so that the SPLM effectively contributes to the convergence between the  


armed struggle and the Intifadha (popular uprising), leading to the removal of the NIF regime  and the formal establishment of the New Sudan. Sudanese in Diaspora shall also be  encouraged to form SPLM Chapters, so that they participate in the liberation struggle and  building of the New Sudan. 

In summary, the SPLM shall continue to establish itself nationally, and consolidate its  political and administrative structures in all parts of the country, and to provide political  vision, guidance and leadership to all the marginalized areas of the Sudan and to all other  marginalized or exploited social groups, such as women, workers, farmers and youth, so that  the SPLM becomes an effective national political organization and tool for achievement of a  united and New Sudan. 

2. Development and Consolidation of the SPLA. 

The Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) is the military wing of the SPLM, and shall be  subordinated to the SPLM. The SPLA at the present constitutes the army of the liberated  New Sudan (the five regions of Bahr el Ghazal, Equatoria, Southern Blue Nile, Southern  Kordofan and Upper Nile), and it shall also constitute the army or a significant component of  the army of the (post-war/post-NIF) New Sudan. 

The SPLA is therefore the principal military instrument for the liberation of the New Sudan. It  shall preserve and defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the New Sudan. In  addition to prosecuting the liberation war, the SPLA shall also engage in productive activities  to contribute to increasing its internal capacity, as well as participate in public projects in the  development of the New Sudan. In situations of emergency and natural calamities, the SPLA  may be called upon to assist and cooperate with the civilian authorities. 

In order to achieve its mandate, the SPLA shall continue to build organic units that culminate  in an organic army strong enough to liberate, defend and give security to the people of the  New Sudan. As a liberation army, the SPLA must be non-partisan, national in character,  patriotic, professional, disciplined, productive, and subordinated to the political wing as  established in the SPLM Constitution. 

The General Military Council (GMC), which shall be composed of GHQ senior staff and unit  and formation commanders from Battalion level and above, shall be the technical advisory  organ to the Commander-in-Chief on technical military affairs and the general conduct of the  war including strategy, tactics and administration. The SPLA shall establish a firm code of  conduct that will be respected and adhered to by all its members for cementing  organizational unity and discipline, and for harmonizing relations with civil society, so that  the SPLA is truly an army of the people, in which they have confidence, pride and hope. 

All the professional schools of the SPLA that were discontinued as a result of the events of  1991 shall be reactivated. Schools for advanced courses shall also be established for training  military cadres of the SPLA at all levels of command and staff. SPLA forces in all the fronts  and sectors shall be transformed into standing organic units and shall be consolidated  


through individual cadre training of both officers and NCOs and men, as well as through unit  training.  

3. Establishment and Consolidation of CANS. 

The Civil Authority for the New Sudan (CANS) is the highest political and administrative  authority in the New Sudan and consists of the National Liberation Council (NLC), the  National Political and Executive Committee (NAPEC) and other organs of the Movement  from the Regional level down to the Boma. The CANS therefore represents the emerging  administration of the New Sudan, which shall be developed and consolidated over time until  it becomes the Government of the New Sudan as the NIF administration withers away, and  as the New Sudan expands and develops. 

The New Sudan shall be administered on the basis of a decentralized regional system. The  New Sudan, as specified in the SPLM Constitution, shall, for the time being, consist of the  five regions of Equatoria, Bahr el Ghazal (including Abiei), Upper Nile, Southern Kordofan and Southern Blue Nile, and these five may be increased, by sub-division, if necessary, or by  new regions of the Old Sudan becoming liberated and joining the New Sudan. 

Every Region shall be composed of a number of Counties; and each County shall consist of a  number of Payams, while each Payam shall be made up of several Bomas. The Regions shall  be administered by Governors, Counties by Commissioners, Payams by Payam  administrators and Bomas by Boma administrators. 

The Boma shall be the basic administrative unit of the New Sudan around which social,  political, economic and commercial activities evolve. It is the pivots of the civil society and an  important focal point and symbol for community mobilization around common values and  norms. 

The civil authorities shall strive to establish an efficient system of civil administration,  maintain peace and security and equitably provide social services with the participation of  the local communities and to oversee distribution of relief and rehabilitation assistance. 

In this regard, it will be necessary to expedite development of organs for maintenance of law  and order, such as the police, prisons warders, wild life protection units, para-legal  personnel, etc. The law itself and related documents of the Movement must be printed and  distributed widely to civil administrators and all those who need them. 

The establishment, capacity building and consolidation of CANS are a necessary prerequisite  for good governance and respect for human rights. CANS will provide the necessary  environment for peace, security and stability in the New Sudan, and thus provide the basis  for socio-economic development of the New Sudan. On the other hand, peace can also be  brought through economic development by creating an alternative and viable model of  development for the New Sudan, a model which exposes and discredits the present NIF  model of development, so that the people are stake-holders in development, and therefore  in maintaining peace and stability in their own interest. 


4. Adopting a Strategy of a Liberation and Mixed Economy. 

The economy of the New Sudan shall be a liberation and a mixed free market economy in  which both public and private sectors shall complement each other and be encouraged; with  the public sector based on social welfare, competitiveness, efficiency and provision of social  overhead services. The SPLM will also do everything necessary for economic development to  start even while the liberation war continues. In this context, the SPLM shall mobilize the  population for economic projects to support the war effort, as well as conduct public  awareness campaigns to liberate the economy and society from constraints of traditional  society, which may impede development. 

However, the principal basis for economic development of the New Sudan shall be the  individual human being and a free and mixed economy. Hence, the SPLM shall develop its  domestic market, including creation of its own currency and banking system. Local border  trade and regional and international trade shall be encouraged, and mechanisms shall be  established for the collection of revenues through various forms of local and central  taxation. 

NAPEC shall seek foreign assistance in any form such as grants and loans. Foreign investment  in the New Sudan, including joint ventures, shall be allowed and encouraged and  repatriation of profits shall be guaranteed and facilitated. The New Sudan shall also make  investments in foreign countries as this becomes feasible. 

Small and large-scale industrial projects shall be established in the New Sudan by the  Movement, by individual entrepreneurs, or through joint ventures with foreign investors, or  by autonomous investment concerns of the Movement. 

Agricultural production shall be aimed primarily at self-sufficiency in food as well as cash  crops for export to earn foreign exchange for farm families and for the Movement. The SPLM  will strive to promote the mechanization of agriculture, beginning with ox-plough and  tractors as this becomes feasible. The Movement will struggle to find foreign markets for  agricultural products of the New Sudan. Both natural and plantation forests shall be  protected by law and afforestation and reforestation programmes shall be established, and  the civil population mobilized to become environmentally conscious. 

The SPLM shall stimulate agricultural, industrial, technological and scientific development by  adopting the necessary policies and laws that foster initiative and encourage local and  foreign investment. However, in furtherance of social justice, the SPLM may regulate the  acquisition, ownership, use and disposition of land and other non-renewable natural  resources, in order to protect the environment and in advocacy of the interests of posterity. 

The SPLM shall work to modernize and transform the economy of the New Sudan from its  present agrarian and backward state to an agro-industrial and industrial economy through  the promotion of mechanized agriculture, integrated industrialization, entrepreneurship and  science and technology, all aimed at and leading to modernization of the economy. 


The SPLM shall promote the exploration and exploitation of minerals, such as oil, gold,  diamonds, iron ore, uranium, copper, cement, etc, so that these complement agriculture in  the modernization of the economy of the New Sudan in this phase. Projects for the  generation of energy from local waters, oil, wind and solar sources will also be explored. 

The National Socio-Economic Planning Council (NSEPC), with functions as spelt out in the  National Convention Resolutions, shall supervise the development and consolidation of the  national economy to assure its liberalization and healthy development. 

5. Development and Consolidation of Democracy. 

In running its affairs, the SPLM shall establish and base itself on the democratic path of  development, which empowers and encourages active participation of all citizens at all levels  in their own liberation and in their own governance, and where the people in positions of  authority or decision-making are mandated periodically by the people. 

All the people of the New Sudan shall have access to leadership positions at all levels of the  Movement, and the running of the affairs of New Sudan shall be guided by a system of  decentralization and devolution of functions and powers to the people at various levels, so  that the people are empowered to manage and direct themselves. 

The composition of the SPLM shall be broadly representative of the national character and  social diversity to reflect the true image of the New Sudan, and all affiliated and syndicated  organizations aspiring for membership in the SPLM shall conform to democratic principles  and to the principle of national character in their organizations and practice. 

The SPLM Movement system of democracy shall be broad based, inclusive and non-partisan,  non-tribal, non-sectarian and shall conform to the principles of participatory, popular and  grass-roots democracy, and subjected to accountability, transparency, accessibility to all  positions of leadership by all citizens, and individual merit shall be the basis for election to  political office. 

6. Establishment and Consolidation of Good Governance. 

The SPLM shall set-up and establish good governance, where the exercise of political,  economic and administrative authority in the management of the country’s affairs at all  levels shall be people-based, so that individuals and groups have an effective say in the  allocation and management of resources and in decisions that affect their lives. 

The SPLM system of governance shall be based on a system of Liberation Councils (LCs), as  mechanisms, processes and democratic institutions through which citizens and social groups  articulate and mediate their differences and exercise their rights, freedoms and obligations. 


The Boma shall be the basic political and administrative unit and the cornerstone of SPLM  administration. Several Bomas will form a Payam, several Payams a County, and several  Counties a Region, and the five Regions presently constitute the New Sudan, and the Liberation Councils shall be established at all these levels. 

The SPLM administration will therefore be characterized by decentralization, popular  participation, transparency, accountability, responsiveness, consensus orientation, fairness,  effectiveness and the rule of law, so that the people of New Sudan are provided with the  necessary conducive environment for accelerated socio-economic development and  increased happiness. 

The decentralized system of governance through the Liberation Councils is designed and  aimed at achieving the following: 

a. Ensuring that the system of decentralization is based on democratically elected Liberation  Councils (LCs) on the basis of universal adult suffrage in accordance with the articles of the  SPLM Constitution, and that functions, powers and responsibilities are devolved and  transferred from the center to the local administrative/political units; 

b. ensuring the full realization of democratic governance through popular participation and  democratic control in decision making through empowering local units to plan, initiate and  execute policies in respect of all matters affecting the people within their jurisdiction; 

c. empowering the local units/LCs to oversee the performance of persons deployed or  employed to provide services in their area and to monitor the provision of services, including  security and maintenance of law and order, and oversee as well as participate in the  implementation of projects in their areas so that they achieve the best standards possible; 

d. ensuring that political, social and economic priorities are based on broad based consensus  in the society, where voices of the poorest and vulnerable groups, including the disabled,  women and children, are heard in decision making over allocation of development resources  and other matters affecting their lives. 

7. Combating and Elimination of Corruption. 

Corruption threatens everything and everybody. It is a major obstacle to economic  development, and even before we reach that stage, corruption can seriously jeopardize and  even destroy the liberation movement. The SPLM will therefore vigorously combat  corruption at all levels of the Movement, so that it is completely eliminated. 

To this end, combating and elimination of corruption, the SPLM shall establish an Anti corruption unit, a sort of Ombudsman, to fight corruption, as an independent organ. Laws  governing it shall be enacted. Corruption must be ruthlessly combated at all levels, so that  good governance becomes a basic character of the New Sudan.  


Public property in the form of immovable and movable assets, cash, title deeds, etc, belong  to the Movement and no single person, be he/she a civilian or soldier, is allowed to use it for  private ends, and in the interests of accountability and transparency, public property must  always be disbursed by a three man committee. 

The SPLM shall establish at each level, from the Boma to the national level, a sound financial  system that is based on the committee system and periodic auditing to ensure transparency  and accountability, and thereby combat and eliminate corruption. The severest of  punishments, as prescribed by law, shall be meted out to corrupt officials in all departments  and branches of the SPLM, so that corruption is completely eliminated, and a healthy  environment created for rapid socio-economic development of the New Sudan. 

8. Establishment and Consolidation of Unity, Peace and Security. 

All organs of the SPLM shall work towards the promotion of unity in the Movement and  bringing about national unity, peace and stability in the liberated areas. The SPLM shall make  all necessary efforts to reach all the people of New Sudan everywhere to achieve their unity  and rally them around the vision and objectives of the SPLM. 

The SPLM shall make every effort to integrate the people of New Sudan into a united  political entity, while at the same time recognizing the existence of their ethnic, religious,  and cultural diversity as well as their individual rights and freedoms, including freedom of  opinion and conscience. Within this unity in diversity, the SPLM shall do everything  necessary to promote a culture of peace, cooperation, understanding, appreciation,  tolerance and respect for each other’s customs, traditions, beliefs and basic human rights. 

Establishment and consolidation of unity must be based on full respect for the civil rights of  the individual and justice and equality to all the people of the New Sudan, and these must be  reflected in the laws and practices of the SPLM. Individual rights and freedoms must be  strictly observed and protected by the laws of the New Sudan. It is by putting the individual  in the center of the Movement that greater unity can best be achieved and guaranteed. 

The SPLM shall intensify political work among the people of the New Sudan and within the  SPLA so that there is unity between the people and their liberation army, to strengthen  confidence and unity between the people and the SPLA. 

The SPLM shall invest considerable efforts and involve the local communities to stop cattle  raiding and inter-tribal and inter-sectional feuds and warfare. These conflicts and practices  seriously sap on unity of the Movement and on forging together of a nation. In this  connection, the Movement shall establish and nurture institutions and procedures for the  resolution of conflicts fairly and peacefully, and involving the people themselves through the  Liberation Councils and other structures of civil society. In this way the SPLM shall provide a  peaceful, secure and stable environment, which is necessary for economic development of  the New Sudan. 


The maintenance of law and order, peace and security is a fundamental task of the Boma  and Payam Liberation Councils, because if there is peace, security and stability at these  grass-roots levels, then there will be greater peace, security and stability in the whole  society. 

9. Rehabilitation and Provision of Social Services. 

a. General 

Social overhead services in the New Sudan have never been developed to any noticeable  level during the colonial period and during the regimes of both the present NIF Sudan and  the Old Sudan it overthrew. There has, for example, been no paved road in Southern Sudan  in its history; while at independence in 1956 there were only two Senior Secondary Schools  in the whole of Southern Sudan, with a combined annual intake of only 70 students. The  situation has also always been dire in the area of health services. The situation of social  services in Southern Kordofan, Southern Blue Nile and other marginalized areas is also not  different from that in Southern Sudan. There is therefore very little to restore or rehabilitate  in the New Sudan in all areas of social services, since there was very little or nothing to begin  with. 

Nevertheless, without adequate Social Overhead Services (SOS), it is difficult to bring about  any meaningful economic development in the New Sudan. The Movement will therefore give  special emphasis to designing and implementing, through both the public and private  sectors, programmes in the areas of education, health, information and culture, and  transport and communication, and also through mobilization of the public in national service  programmes. 

b. Education 

The situation in the liberated areas dictates that the SPLM should establish an educational  system that combines theory and practice, so that education is relevant to the New Sudan.  Hence, the educational system in the New Sudan shall cover basic formal education, food  production and processing, building construction, mechanics, carpentry, blacksmithing,  survey and other forms of technological advancement. 

In general, relevance of curricula to employment and culture requirements should be the  over-riding consideration, so that education is immediately relevant to the needs of the  people of the New Sudan, and so that graduates of various schools are absorbed by the local  economy in income generating activities that actually create wealth. 

The SPLM will introduce universal primary education that is broad-based, relevant and of at  least eight years duration, so that the Primary/Intermediate school leaver is provided with  some skill(s) that will guarantee him/her some gainful employment. In this context adult  education should also be geared towards occupational work. 


Combining universal primary education with adult education, the Movement should be able  to wipe out illiteracy in the New Sudan within 15 years from the end of the war, and thus be  able to provide a solid basis for take-off into full and sustained industrialization within  twenty years from the end of the war. However, the programme of universal primary  education must begin now, even as the war continues. 

The SPLM will also make efforts, even now during the war, to open a New Sudan University  in a place like Rumbek or Yambio, and which shall be based on the same principle of relevant  and useable education. Sudanese in Diaspora can send their children to this university, and  the many Sudanese lecturers and professors in exile can be used to staff it, and appeals will  be made to the international community to contribute to funding this university, as well as  Sudanese nationals, especially those in the Diaspora to contribute to it. 

Centers for development of needed skills for the New Sudan shall also be encouraged and  developed, as well as institutes for teacher, para-medical and para-legal training established.  There are already such centers for acquisition of skills in Yei and Chukudum being run by  NGOs. 

In drawing up educational programmes or centers for skills, etc., due consideration should  be given to equitable distribution of resources among the regions, and between general and  technical/vocational training for middle level cadres. 

The SPLM will give priority to access by women to various educational opportunities,  including positive discrimination, so that women catch up and have a level field with their  men folk in all spheres of life. 

c. Health 

Health services shall be based on the principles of Primary Health Care accessible to all  members of the community and undertaken with their full participation and contribution.  There are indeed areas in which the community can empower itself and implement health  programmes, such as provision of clean drinking water in both urban and rural areas, and in  prevention of diseases through proper hygiene. 

Special attention shall be given to rehabilitation of health services oriented towards disease  control and prevention with due regard to equitable regional distribution. 

The SPLM shall strive to establish health facilities at various levels and to procure medical  supplies through the use of its own resources and/or by soliciting support from the  international community, as well as through the private sector. 

Health authorities shall be required to compile comprehensive statistics of diseases and  conditions prevalent in the New Sudan. Laws and regulations designed to promote the  health conditions of the people shall be enacted and education in public health intensified. 

d. Transport and Communications 


The New Sudan has never had a reliable system of transport and communication. It is thus  imperative that a viable network of road, river and rail transport and telecommunication are  established to facilitate present and future development of the New Sudan. 

In this regard, the Movement’s immediate tasks shall be:- (1) rehabilitation of river transport  along the liberated stretches of the River Nile system; (2) maintenance of old river ports and  establishment of new ones; (3) procurement of boats and ferries for goods, passengers and  postal services; (4) rehabilitation and/or construction of trunk and feeder roads; (5)  encouragement and promotion of public transport services and equipment; (6)  establishment of a telecommunications system, including internet connectivity; (7)  establishment of mechanical workshops for maintenance and repair of vehicles; (8)  construction and maintenance of airstrips in various areas of the New Sudan for use by light  aircraft; (9) conduct of feasibility studies as a matter of priority, with a view to establishing  postal services in the New Sudan; and (10) building of micro-dams for generation of  electricity and other uses in various areas of the New Sudan. 

e. Information and Culture 

The SPLM shall establish an effective information system, including acquisition of an  adequate radio broadcasting facility to re-establish Radio SPLM in the shortest time possible.  The Secretariat of Information will also ensure wider circulation of SPLM publications, such  as the UPDATE, Horn of Africa Vision, etc. 

The SPLM shall widely publicize and promote cultural and social activities of the people of  the New Sudan. Cultural and customary values that are consistent with fundamental rights  and freedoms, democracy and human dignity shall be developed and incorporated into  aspects of life in the New Sudan. 

The SPLM shall design and implement programmes which: (1) promote and preserve those  cultural values and practices which enhance the dignity and well-being of our people; (2)  promote and encourage the development, preservation and enrichment of all languages of  the New Sudan; (3) promote the development of a sign language for the deaf, (4) encourage  the development of a national language or languages. 

The SPLM shall encourage and promote cross cultural interaction and understanding by  adopting freedom of the press, improved means of cross cultural communications through  development of theatres, libraries, cinemas, galleries, community and recreational centers,  television networks, radio networks, newspapers, magazines, cultural/athletic centers, etc,  and thus help in evolving a New Sudanese national consciousness and common purpose for  the people of New Sudan. 

10. Resettlement of Internally Displaced People and Refugees. 

Although there are no reliable figures, various estimates put the number of internally  displaced people living in various areas of the New Sudan to around one million, with  another two million displaced to the Capital and other urban and production areas of  


Northern Sudan, and another one million living as refugees in the neighboring countries and  beyond. This means that the combined displaced/refugee population of the New Sudan is  approximately four million, while the settled and stable population under SPLM  administration is about six million.  

The SPLM, through the SRRA, shall continue to appeal to the international community, and  take other measures possible, to ensure security and continuous support with relief food,  non-food items, health and education facilities to the camps for the displaced people in the  New Sudan and in and around the Capital, Khartoum. 

However, the viable course of action is resettlement and rehabilitation of the refugees and  internally displaced people in their original home areas or work places. The SPLM shall  prepare plans for the resettlement, repatriation and rehabilitation of the displaced  population in their traditional home areas as security improves and as organs of law and  order get established in the various areas of New Sudan. Such plans shall take into account  the provision of adequate security on the way and at destination, means of transport and  availability of essential supplies prior to implementation. 

The SPLM shall continue to appeal to the international community to continue to assist in  the provision of essential services such as food, shelter, health, and basic and higher  education for Sudanese refugees. 

The Movement shall encourage the refugees to organize SPLM Chapters and Sudanese  Refugees’ Associations in the countries of residence to enhance their welfare and enable  them to participate and support the liberation struggle, and be adequately informed about  the situation back home. 

The SPLM shall work towards persuading Sudanese exiles with specialized skills, such as  doctors, nurses, engineers, teachers, agriculturists, mechanics, etc., to return home and use  their skills for development of the New Sudan, while those not ready can contribute during  their leaves. 

11. Membership of NDA and Negotiations with the Government of the Day. 

The SPLM shall not isolate itself from the overall Sudanese political situation at the center  (Khartoum), and will not relegate itself to a regional movement as some Southerners and  Northerners would wish. The SPLM shall continue to be a national Movement and to  champion national goals within the context of the New Sudan. Hence, the Movement will  continue to appeal to Northerners to join the SPLM, as well as establish itself in areas of  Northern Sudan that it has as yet not reached. 

As a matter of principle, the SPLM will continue to enter into peace talks for peaceful  settlement of the Sudanese conflict with the Government of the day in Khartoum, but this  must be on the basis of confederation, self-determination and the New Sudan. 


The SPLM shall continue to be a member of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), and  shall continue to play an active role in it, while maintaining its organizational, political and  military independence.  

The Movement is committed to the Asmara Declaration, and the SPLM shall continue to  work with the other members of the NDA to resolve the outstanding (unresolved) and gray  areas in the Asmara Declaration. 

The SPLM will work with other members of the NDA to bring about the concrete  convergence of the armed struggle, as waged in the countryside, with the Intifadha in the  urban areas, so as to overthrow the NIF regime in a decisive way and in the shortest time  possible, and thereby ushering in the New Sudan through the alternative modality of the  NDA.  

12. Right to and Exercise of self-determination. 

The SPLM shall create the necessary objective condition and conducive environment for the  exercise of the right to self-determination for the people of the New Sudan. The New Sudan  itself cannot be imposed, but must be the consensus of the people concerned to freely so  decide in an internationally monitored referendum. 

The right to self-determination has now been affirmed by all Sudanese political forces and by  the IGAD mediators. The right to self-determination is a principal objective of the SPLM,  while the NDA declares in its 1995 Asmara Declaration that ‘the right to self-determination is  a basic human, democratic and people’s right, which may be exercised at any time by any  people’. Even the NIF regime has affirmed the right of self-determination, although in a  convoluted manner, as they have arrogated to themselves the right to ‘given’ the right of  self-determination, and hence on their terms.  

The IGAD mediators have included and affirmed the right of self-determination in their  Declaration of Principles (DOP) for peaceful resolution of the Sudanese conflict. The NDA  agrees with the IGAD mediators and affirms that ‘the exercise of the right to self determination’ constitutes a solution to the on-going civil war and facilitates the restoration  and enhancement of democracy in the Sudan. 

The principled position of the SPLM on the right to self-determination is that this right is  organic to the self that is determining its destiny, and it can therefore not be ‘given’ by the  NIF regime, the NDA, or any government of the day in Khartoum, for that would be a  contradiction in terms. The people of the New Sudan will therefore exercise this right  without permission from or accession by anybody. However, the SPLM will invite  international observers to witness that the exercise of the right to self-determination is free  and fair. 


13. International Cooperation and Human Rights. 

The SPLM shall work to promote the national interest of the New Sudan and shall respect  international law and treaty obligations to which the New Sudan is signatory. The Movement  stands in support and respect of international Conventions on human rights and similar  international protocols on human rights. 

The SPLM shall seek friendship, mutual understanding, cooperation and mutual benefit with  all countries and international organizations. Special emphasis will be given to the  establishment of good relations with all the neighboring countries, and with countries of the  sub-region and the continent. The Movement shall also actively seek out potential investors  who may be interested in the New Sudan, and seek out potential markets for products of the  New Sudan. 

The SPLM and people of the New Sudan shall actively participate in international and  regional organizations that stand for peace and for the well being and progress of humanity. 

The SPLM shall continue to endeavour to bring to the attention of the international  community the untold sufferings of the oppressed and marginalized people of the Sudan  under the double-apartheid regime of the National Islamic Front. 

The SPLM shall seek international support for the just cause of the people of the New Sudan;  and in general the Movement supports just causes for freedom, justice, equality, democracy  and human rights of other oppressed peoples. The Movement is inherently opposed to all  forms of domination, racism, slavery, apartheid, colonialism, neo-colonialism and any other  forms of oppression and exploitation. However, the Movement is in principle committed to  the peaceful settlement of disputes by negotiation, mediation, conciliation, or arbitration. 

Consistent with the Movement’s policy on human rights, the SPLM believes that the object  of combat is not necessarily to kill the enemy soldier, but rather to render the opponent  non-combative, and hence, whenever an enemy soldier is disarmed or unarmed, his/her life  must be spared, protected, respected, and considered as a Prisoner of War (POW). 

The Movement shall adhere to and respect internationally accepted norms and standards of  human rights and shall protect and respect the rights and civil liberties of all persons  resident in the New Sudan without prejudice based on race, tribe, religion or gender. 

There shall be separation between the state and religion in the New Sudan, and there shall  be no political organization that shall be founded on religious-sectarian or ethnic-racial  grounds. 

The SPLM shall guarantee freedom of worship and proselytization to all religions or beliefs  without favor or prejudice to anyone of them. It is on this principle that the Movement has  encouraged the formation of the New Sudan Council of Churches (NSCC) and the New Sudan  Islamic Council (NSIC), and which fully enjoy these freedoms. 


The SPLM shall guarantee and respect the independence of genuine human rights non governmental organizations (HR-NGOs), which protect and promote human rights, and the  Movement shall establish an autonomous New Sudan Human Rights Commission (NS-HRC). 

The SPLM affirms that fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual are inherent and  inalienable, and not granted by the Movement. The rights and freedoms of the individual,  and of social or cultural groups, shall be respected, upheld and promoted by all organs,  agencies and officials of the Movement. 

Every person has an inalienable right to life, and no person has the right to terminate the life  of a person or of an unborn child except as may be authorized by law. Every person has a  right to own property, either individually or in association with others, and no person shall  be deprived of property or any interest in or right over property of any description except  where authorized by law. 

All persons are equal before or under the law in the spheres of political, economic, social  and cultural life, and in every other respect, and shall enjoy equal protection of the law. A  person shall therefore not be discriminated against on the ground of gender, race, color,  

ethnic origin, tribe, birth, creed or religion, or socio-economic position, political opinion, or  disability. 

14. Promotion of the Ideals of the Oau and Pan-Africanism. 

The SPLM shall promote regional and Pan-African cultural, economic and political  cooperation and integration in the Sub-Region, the Continent and Africans in Diaspora, and  work to promote the ideals of the OAU and the Pan-African Movement, as well as champion  the concept of the ‘African Nation’ and its renaissance, realization and unity. 

The SPLM view on African unity and solidarity shall be based on the oneness of the ‘African  People’ and the unity of the ‘African Nation’ and their common destiny, and on our  opposition to all forms of oppression and exploitation, and in this connection, the  Movement shall strive and help in eradicating all forms of colonialism and neo-colonialism  from the African homeland. 

The SPLM believes that the ‘African People’ and the ‘African Nation’ comprise all peoples  that are indigenous to the African Continent, including those in Diaspora, and all other  peoples who migrated and settled on the African Continent at various times, either as  groups or as individuals. In this definition, therefore, the concept of the ‘African People’ and  the ‘African Nation’ is non-racial and a ‘melting pot’, and the SPLM shall promote Pan Africanism in this context of a non-racial melting pot, whereby the African Nation shall be  African-based, but benefit and open to all other contributing cultures and civilizations, as  well as contribute to them. 

In this context, of a non-racial melting pot, and given the special geographical and cultural  location and connection of the Sudan to the Middle Eastern cultures and civilizations, the  New Sudan shall have a special relationship and shall play a special role in the Arab World  


and in Afro-Arab relations, and the SPLM shall promote this special relationship and play this  special role. 

The SPLM shall aim to promote human rights, such as the inalienable right of all peoples to  self-determination, and the recognition of the historical demands by African people for  freedom, equality, justice, human dignity and acceptance of the United Nations Declaration  of human rights as forming the basis of international peace. 

Furthermore, while the SPLM aspires for the realization of unity of the African Nation and its  renaissance, the Movement is also committed to defending the independence, sovereignty,  and territorial integrity of all African states; and SPLM shall respect the legitimacy of each  African state and also respect the sovereign equality of all states. The Movement believes  that the sovereignty of independent African states is a necessary interim outcome and  second bests situation to that of full unity of the African Nation. 

The SPLM shall encourage peaceful settlement of disputes by negotiation, mediation,  conciliation or arbitration among African states, as violent settlement of such disputes only  leads to destruction of lives and property and suffering of innocent people, and lost  development. 

The SPLM shall promote economic, political and cultural cooperation and exchanges among  African states and peoples, such as promotion of inter-African co-operation in the fields of  education, health-care, science, technology, transport, communications, and in general, in  all other areas of their economies and societies. 

15. A New Sudanese National Consciousness and Common Purpose. 

The vision, objectives and programme of the SPLM and their implementation in the course  of the struggle to realize the New Sudan should lead to the evolution and formation of a new  Sudanese identity, a new national consciousness and common purpose for the people of  New Sudan. This is a form of Sudanism which is radically different from that of the Old Sudan  and NIF Sudan, which is based on racist and religious chauvinism, whereas the Sudanism of  the New Sudan is based on the objective reality of our historical and contemporary diversity,  and on Sudanese citizenship and our common humanity. 

The SPLM shall intensify its political work within the SPLA and among the freedom fighters  and the civilian population of the New Sudan to promote a new national consciousness and  common purpose. The Movement shall therefore re-establish the school for political  education and orientation for all SPLM officials and SPLA freedom fighters. 

Eventually, as resources become available, the SPLM shall establish national service centers,  through which all citizens of the New Sudan shall pass to perform some form of national  service and undergo political education and orientation to promote the new Sudanese  national consciousness and integration so that the New Sudan becomes a purposeful civil  society. 


In the immediate term the SPLM Political Secretariat shall organize seminars and courses on  good governance for all chiefs, Boma administrators, Payam Administrators, County  Commissioners, and members of NAPEC and the NLC, to equip them with the vision,  objectives, programme and constitution of the SPLM in addition to technical skills. In the  interests of the same, the Political Secretariat will also organize familiarization visits and  tours at the grass-root levels for various groups to travel and see other parts of the New  Sudan, for example, the Chiefs and elders of the Toposa can go on a one month visit to Aweil  County, while the Chiefs of Aweil County reciprocate the visit to Kapoeta, and so on. 

Many of these political and social tours can be organized for chiefs and other social groups  and officials, so that the people of the New Sudan are afforded opportunities to know their  land and themselves. Such visits can contribute enormously towards the people of the New  

Sudan learning and knowing about each other, and hence to the development of a New  Sudanese national consciousness and common purpose. The Movement shall design various  programmes to promote the sense of national belonging, patriotism and common purpose  and destiny among the people of New Sudan, and incorporate these programmes in  educational, developmental and other programmes of the SPLM and the New Sudan. 

Vision and Programme of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) SPLM POLITICAL SECRETARIAT 


MARCH 1998  


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