September 6, 2013 (SSNA) — Those of us who follow news and current events in our beloved country, observed that Dr. Anne Itto, the Deputy Secretary General of the SPLM, recently met twice in less than a month with His Excellency the President of the Republic as well as the Chairperson of the SPLM. These meetings indicate that the SPLM leadership is attempting to inject new blood into the process of putting its house in order as well as preparation for general elections looming in 2015.
The SPLM is the political wing of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). Its destiny is vital, not only for its supporters, but also for the entire South Sudanese people. SPLM leadership must be proactive and engage in dialogue within the party which has evolved since the comprehensive peace agreement of January 9, 2005. In that year the SPLA transformed itself into a political party in the former united Sudan.
Registration as a political party is required by law within two years of declaring independence for legal recognition. Transformation from a guerilla movement into a political entity is not an easy process. Challenges and difficulties arise and must be met.
Among these are factions that must be engaged in dialogue. SPLM leadership must engage with these elements to set the agenda for reformation and transformation to overcome current congestion being experienced by the party.
The party needs to put its house in order internally through grassroots primary elections and other democratic reform mechanisms.
The SPLM needs to reach out into all the states and counties of the Republic of South Sudan so that every state and county is prepared for the general election of 2015.
A political action plan must be developed in coordination with the national and state ministries. This will require liaison and conversation with South Sudanese political leaders like Dr. Martin E. Lomuro, Gabriel C. Leuo, and Uncle George Kongor Arop etc.
The SPLM has not mobilized. The party needs to carry out public political rallies in all of the states and counties.
The SPLM must commit itself to the political ideals and legacy of its iconic hero, the late Dr. John Garang de Mabiour, the founder and the father of SPLM.
I strongly believe that party division will adversely affect our new nation causing political predicaments and anarchy. We expect problems in the nation building process but must avoid what can be divisive.
The initiative taken by Dr. Anne Itto, the Deputy Secretary General, SPLM, and her team in meeting with the President of the Republic and the Chairman deserves credit for a job well done in facing burning issues.
What do SPLM supporters expect from the party leadership? They want a lot, especially interaction to socialize and converse on the issues at hand. I have concurred absolutely with Dr. Anne Itto and her team in the need to dialogue with outgoing Ministers.
It is my expectation that the current cabinet will be carrying out the election in 2015 unless there is some improper performance of duty.
A paramount need is dialogue with other African nations, especially bordering countries, and the international community partners to explain the insecurity status quo of Jonglei State.
God bless the Republic of South Sudan.
Ambassador Dhanojak Obongo is currently serving as Deputy Chief of Mission in the Embassy of the Republic of South Sudan in Washington, D.C., USA. He can be reached via email: [email protected]