Is SPLM-D.C. an armed movement or a political party?

By Zechariah Manyok Biar

February 12, 2010 (SSNA) — Some people accuse the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement for Democratic Change (SPLM-D.C.) of being nothing more than an armed movement. But those of us who like to know specifics about claims were hard to be convinced that SPLM-D.C. was an armed movement because there were no evidences to support those claims.

However, things are becoming murky on the side of SPLM-D.C. in their desperate attempts to secure power in South Sudan. Let us look into these murky issues.

SPLM-D.C. has been trying to make us believe that it stands on nothing more than respect for law in Sudan. But it turned out that SPLM-D.C. respects the law only if it favors SPLM-D.C.’s position. When the Court ruled against the letter that the Government of South Sudan (GoSS) gave to state governors last year, granting freedom to all parties, except SPLM-D.C., to operate in South Sudan, SPLM-D.C. welcomed the ruling as a victory for the rule of law in Sudan.

Members of SPLM-D.C. like Dr. Okuk wrote many articles, accusing the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) of lacking respect for the rule law, something that I admired.

However, Dr. Okuk recently showed that he is far away from cheering the law if the law favors different parties’ positions against that of SPLM-D.C. When the Supreme Court in Sudan dismissed Dr. Lam Akol’s claims about the illegality of General Salva Kiir’s candidacy, Dr. Okuk wrote this in his article published by South Sudan Nation on February 10, 2010:  “The SPLM-DC knows that it is not all human being judges who are fair and impartial even when they pretend to be so.” This statement implies that human judges are only fair when they favor SPLM-D.C. in their rulings.

Dr. Okuk did not mind about the accusation put on his party as armed movement and not a political party in his recent article. He clearly called for rebellion when he wrote this: “There should never be any exception for the SPLM, even if they threaten the public to return back to the bush if their man is disqualified. If the SPLM continues to be in government with such defiance to the civilian laws, then they should be sensitized that the bush is not reserved for them alone; others can become rebels to the bad SPLM rule in the South as good things continue to fall apart.”
I don’t think Dr. Okuk knows what he is talking about here when he says that “others can become rebels to the bad SPLM rule in the South as good things continue to fall apart.” If he knows what he is talking about, then he is stepping on the red line that has nothing to do with democracy.
The rule of law is part of democracy, which is what SPLM and the SPLM-D.C. followed in both the rulings that favored both of them in their respective cases.
What right does Dr. Okuk have to call for rebellion because the Supreme Court does not rule in SPLM-D.C.’s favor for the second time? Is that what he calls democracy and respect for the rule of law?
The question we are forced to ask here is whether SPLM-D.C. is an armed rebellion or a political party. If SPLM-D.C. is an armed movement, then its members should stop talking about democracy because we know the differences between armed rebellion and democratic exercises.
If SPLM-D.C. is a democratic party, then its members should concentrate on principles of democracy and stop using scaring tactics. We just came out of war and we are scared by nothing about it.
Dictators should not disguise themselves as democratic leaders and expect us to believe in what they tell us.
Zechariah Manyok Biar is a graduate student at Abilene Christian University, Texas, USA. He just graduated with a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry and he is still pursuing a Master of Science in Social Work, specializing in Administration and Planning. For comments, contact him at email: [email protected]  
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