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Opposition lashes out on purge within Kiir’s SPLM

Puok Both Baluang, SPLM-IO spokesperson.

Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in Opposition (SPLM-IO) has lashed out at the recent decision to kick out it’s leader Riek Machar from the Political Bureau of the SPLM under President Salva Kiir.

Machar was not the only senior historical member of the liberation party (SPLM) purged as Pagan Amum, it’s former Secretary General and close confidant of it’s founding leader the late Dr. John Garang Demabior was also kicked out.

The SPLM split in December 2013 leading to rival factions led by President Kiir and his former Vice President Machar to fight in the capital Juba.

 Puok Both Baluang, the Spokesperson for SPLM-IO said the decision reached on Thursday at SPLM House with President Kiir in attendance has put an end to any hopes of unifying the various splinter factions under the 2015 reunification agreement signed in Arusha, Tanzania.

“South Sudan has two agreements, the first one is R-ARCSS, the second is the Arusha agreement, the decision that was taken by SPLM Political Bureau is a violation of the Arusha agreement,” Baluang told The Juba Echo in Juba on Sunday.

The R-ARCSS is the 2018 peace deal signed to end years of conflict since 2013.

The Arusha agreement mediated by Tanzania’s ruling Chama Chamapenduzi (CCM) party was inked to solve political differences among the various splinter SPLM factions, which would later on lead to unification.

Baluang said that the two agreements are valid and are respected by the SPLM-IO despite the slow implementation.

 “The parties’ of the Arusha Agreement are the ones to decide jointly to discuss whether it is possible to unite SPLM or part ways and form different parties,” said Baluang, hinting that the decision taken by the SPLM top honchos violates the spirit of the Arusha Agreement.

“When there is reform, it is to be discussed by all parties not one party, this is not a new norm to us, it is a cycle of violation, the two agreements are important but the priority is R-ACRCSS,” he said.

Both the SPLM and SPLM-IO are in the transitional unity government formed since February 2020 to help steer the country towards sustainable peace.

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