NCP Has Reduced Kiir to Small Southern Sudanese Leader

While addressing a news conference last week in Khartoum, Rebecca Garang, the
wife of our late Chairman Dr John Garang, categorically denied claims of infighting
within the SPLM. She also appealed to Khartoum citizens to commemorate the first
anniversary of the death of Dr Garang. The occasion will take place on July

Khartoum, 22 July 2006

30, 2006.

I want to emphatically say that what Rebecca has said is absolutely not true. The two remarks are false. She is making these denials simply because she is a minister in the Government of Southern Sudan. It is important that the public know the truth of the matter, because SPLM is their party and they are the ones to rescue it if it gets into difficulty.

Indeed, SPLM like any movement in the world, has internal difficulties to resolve its political issues. So there is infighting within the SPLM and the general public actually feels this infighting. We want Rebecca to support Salva Kiir's leadership in both SPLM and in GoSS, but there is no point in misleading us. We know many parts of the crisis in the SPLM. The SPLM members also know. She should not abandon Kiir and the movement, come what may; but for practical democratic politics Rebecca should accept the reality that there are problems in the SPLM leadership, in particular, and in the whole movement in general. Rebecca, tell the truth and the truth shall liberate.

The crisis in SPLM started with the resignation of Nhial Deng, the former minister of Regional Cooperation. Deng is alleged to have resigned because his colleagues were not respecting him. Deng resigned because he was disappointed by the Redemption Faction of the SPLM. The Redemption group has the feeling that God has answered their prayers to make a coup on their behalf to take away the life of the late Chairman. Deng was seen as a stooge of the late Chairman and finally he was edged out through frustrations. Nhial Deng has done the right thing. He decided to quit GoSS. Is this not infighting in the movement?

Salva Kiir by any measure is a leader and honest person but his association with the Redemption Faction has created a real power struggle within the SPLM. Kiir is not implementing the decisions of the movement's institutions because he has allowed the Redemption Faction to hold him hostage. The movement will develop more serious problems unless Kiir assumes the leadership role to relieve those ministers and senior officials who are undermining the expectations of the people of Southern Sudan. The ball is at Kiir’s corner now. He is to choose between entertaining the wrongs of the Redemption Faction and siding with the public interests. The public interest is implementation of the CPA.

Entertaining the Redemption Faction represents corruption at all levels. This group is driving people away from the SPLM. In fact, SPLM corruption has already been initiated in the Khartoum State ministerial appointments, where all the SPLM representatives are from one tribe. The Bank of Southern Sudan (BOSS) appointments are another case of blatant corruption, where posts were advertised for public applications, but ultimately each minister in GoSS was given 15 posts to fill and the bank’s governor also 15. This is sheer nepotism.

Another case of the corruption we are talking about was when the SPLM nominated 21 men as ambassadors. These appointments have robbed women of their constitutional rights. Rebecca should have influenced changes in the appointments of ambassadors to bring them in line with the constitutional requirement that women hold 25

Posted in: Governance
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