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SPLM issues ultimatum to disgruntled factions to return

Kuol Atem Bol, SPLM’s secretary for political affairs (L) and Bol Makueng, the SPLM’s secretary for external affairs address journalists in Juba on Wednesday.

Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM)- In Government (SPLM-IG) has called on all members of splinter factions to act fast and return to the fold before it’s National Liberation Council (NLC) convenes at undisclosed time.

Kuol Atem Bol, the SPLM (IG) Secretary for Political Affairs/Mobilization and Organization, said on Wednesday that members who fail to comply to this order will lose party membership in accordance with Article 10 (b) and (d) of the SPLM constitution.

He told journalists in Juba that the SPLM Political Bureau meeting on 20th October recommended dismissal of those who either joined or formed their own political parties.

“Once membership is lost, it goes without saying that the positions being held in various structures of the SPLM by such individuals would automatically be lost, if someone wants to abandon his or her party they better do so before the forthcoming meeting of the NLC,” said Bol.

“It will not affect the peace agreement because the government now is on; the peace agreement is being implemented. Riek (Machar) and Pagan Amum were holding senior positions that they were elected in that is why Political Bureau could not dismiss them,” he added.

Bol said that the NLC has been advised by the SPLM Political Bureau to dismiss First Vice President Riek Machar who also leads the SPLM-in Opposition (SPLM-IO) and Pagan Amum, the former SPLM Secretary General and leader of Real SPLM faction.  

However, in an earlier interview with this newspaper, Puok Both Baluang, the Acting Press Secretary in the office of Machar said that SPLM (IG) under President Salva Kiir cannot dismiss Machar from membership of SPLM.

Baluang disclosed that Machar was duly elected SPLM First Deputy Chairman and member of political bureau of SPLM, and therefore he cannot be replaced without fresh elections.

The SPLM-IG and other splinter factions of the party signed the 2015 Arusha reunification agreement following outbreak of conflict in December 2013.

Baluang said the Arusha agreement binds all factions to meet and collectively make binding decisions on unification, but no faction could singlehandedly dismiss another from SPLM.

Bol Makueng, the SPLM (IG) Secretary for External Affairs, advised disgruntled members to search for power by peaceful means, noting that misinformation was the main cause of the 2013 split of the party.

Makueng said he expected Machar to use peaceful and democratic means to seek for power through his established political party.

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