By Isaac Vuni
July 11, 2007 (JUBA) — First Vice President and President of the government of southern Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit, said today that road for 2011 referendum would not be as smooth as expected by may. He further reiterated that SPLM must ensure that referendum period ends peacefully.
- Salva Kiir Mayardit
While peace implementation process faces difficulties with the question of Abyei, Sudanese army withdrawal to northern Sudan and north-south border demarcations, the Southern Sudan president seems reacting to Khartoum failure to honor the CPA in these three issues.
"The lost of our leader and commander in chief of SPLA and chairman of SPLM, Dr. John Garang de Mabior, was a great blow to the whole nation and the marginalized Sudanese in particular; nevertheless, his vision will always continue to guide us until it’s realized through the referendum," Mayardit declared.
Mayardit reminded participants that the road to referendum may not be as smooth as many of them may assume that every thing will run peacefully. He said experience form other countries shows that there are always a lot of in tricks, but say SPLM must do every thing possible to ensure that referendum period ends peaceful.
He reiterated that for the first time, southern Sudan has its own government of southern Sudan (GoSS) with constitution, Legislative, Executive, judiciary, ten states governments and the bank of southern Sudan are clear indication that southerners can governance themselves without Khartoum.
Speaking at the opening session of the first SPLM Chapters Leaders International Conference, the chairman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Juba Salva Kiir Mayardit said that the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) has not yet withdrawn from Upper Nile and Unity states of southern Sudan despite deadline of July 9th 2007, contrary to the security arrangement agreement of the CPA.
A U.N. statement issued on July 8, said 66.5 percent of the original 46,403 northern troops in south Sudan had moved north. The agreement called for a full redeployment by July 9.
Mayardit further said that implementation of the CPA has not gone smoothly as expected, some protocols on Abyei and the north-south border as it stood of January 1st 1956 has not been implemented from the date CPA was signed to date.
Delivering keynote to the conference,on Wednesday, president Mayardit said Government of Sudan is still continuing with recruitment of militia in Kordofan of western Sudan in a place called Elobeya, contrary to CPA spirit.
However, president Mayardit declared that there were progress on the side of the SPLM/A regarding CPA implementation ,citing Juba declaration between South Sudan Defense Forces (SSDF) led then by Paulino Matip and SPLM/A on January 8th 2006 with Matip becoming the Deputy Chief of Staff of the SPLA with all his forces integrated into SPLA. Mayardit also disclosed the integration of Clement Wani Konga forces into SPLA including that of Ismail Konyi among others, welcome and assured them on behalf of SPLM/A to work with them in spirit of brotherhoods.
He further said since inception of SPLM/A movement, the conference is first of it kind that brought together representatives of SPLM chapters from various part of the world to meeting in their own homeland. In deed this is a history in making, underscored president Mayardit.
He noted that the conference should avail opportunity to all SPLM Leaders to interact with each other, know one another and exchange views on how to work as a team to make SPLM an effective and stronger political party in the country.
"During the past 21 years of civil war in southern Sudan, SPLM/A has committed itself to fight for the rights and dignity of the marginalized Sudanese. With the gallant SPLA forces, have successfully harmed out peace through CPA on January 9th 2005", he said.
"The CPA is an important document in our history, it encompasses vital protocols, if all implemented, would provides a longer peaceful co-existence of all Sudanese people, opportunity for Sudan to exploit and develops its natural resources for the benefit of all Sudanese," he emphasized.
Mayardit said CPA provides the people of Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile the right of popular consultation meanwhile it granted the people of Abyei to enjoy equal status during the interim period and later to choose either to join their brothers and sisters in southern Sudan or remain with northern Sudan. The CPA further avail opportunity for southern Sudanese to determine their political future through a referendum scheduled for year 2011
The SPLM has been transformed into a political party as of January 27th 2007 from a guerilla movement to a political party therefore he urges all SPLM chapters to transform itself in political structures that should reflect what is at SPLM headquarters because its not longer a movement. This cardinal rules must be reflected in your structure including ration of 25% for female at all levels of chapter’s structure in Diaspora.
PAGAN AMUM BACKING SALVA KIIR LEADERSHIP
Meanwhile the secretary General of SPLM, Mr. Pagan Amun said many people today are driving to Yei at speed of 100km per hour, a thing that was not there before, yet some critics say the SPLM has done nothing. The truth is that today we have freedom and our people in various cities in southern Sudan are living in freedom because of the SPLM/A achievements, observed Pagan Amum.
During this period the SPLM was and has been and will continue to be under the leadership of Lt. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit, chairman of the SPLM, Pagan said.
"We in the SPLM are facing a lot of difficulties; there are a lot of challenges, SPLM chairman has managed to control in order to keep the movement together. Despite all these challenges he kept SPLM moving forward," he explained.
"Now that the our people from diasporas have come, this is a good moment for all of us to listen to the story of the SPLM during the last two and half years, to know what challenges it has gone through and also to hear from the leadership and the task so that we continue our struggle to achieve a Free prosperous and peaceful new Sudan, a country that we dream about and country that we shall get under the leadership of SPLM," remarks Secretary general Pagan.
Earlier participants observed a minute silence in memory of Late leader Dr. John Garang and all those who lost their lives in the struggle.
The conference organized by SPLM secretariat Headquarters in Juba is attended by more that 500 delegates. The seven days meeting will assess challenges facing reconstruction and development efforts, as well as finding mechanisms for strengthening the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.