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SPLM’s politburo rejects referendum delay


19 August, 2010 (KHARTOUM) – The ruling party in the semi-autonomous region of south Sudan has reiterated rejection to delay a plebiscite on the region’s possible independence from the Arab-dominated north Sudan in January 2011.

The final communiqué of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement’s (SPLM) politburo meeting in Juba, August 13 - 16, declared that, “there shall be no retreat from holding the referendum as scheduled on January 9, 2011.”

The South Sudan Referendum Commission (SSRC), which is tasked with organizing the exercise, has been deadlocked over the appointment of a secretary-general.

On March 15, the SSRC’s chairman, Mohamed Ibrahim Khalil, threatened to resign, saying that the southern members of the commission were voting as a block to prevent any northerner from taking the disputed post.

The SPLM has long accused its ruling partner in north Sudan, the National Congress Party (NCP), of stonewalling them on referendum issues.

According to the text of the communiqué received by Sudan Tribune, the meeting discussed the status of the implementation of Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), the name given to the peace deal that ended two decades of civil war between north and south Sudan in 2005. Particular focus was given to the south Sudan and Abyei referenda as well as the popular consultations taking place in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states on the north-south border.

The statement said that the 27-strong politburo received briefings from the SPLM chairman, Salva Kiir (who is the President of the Autonomous Government of Southern Sudan - GoSS), and the SPLM’s secretary-general Pagan Amum.

On the issue of media campaigning in the run-up to the referendum, the SPLM called for state media to give equal access to both the opponents and proponents of unity. They also committed the GoSS to allow the supporters of both choices to campaign freely and without intimidation.

“The SSRC and all levels of government in the country ought to guarantee absolute freedom to those campaigning for either choice (unity or separation) to express their views in accordance with the agreement and the referendum law,” said the communiqué. It further warned that “any attempt to prevent Sudanese citizens from campaigning for the choice they consider best for them shall not result in a vote that is free, fair and transparent.”

On the situation in the disputed oil-rich region of Abyei, the communiqué expressed serious concern over the NCP’s procrastination to enforce last years’ ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on the region’s boundaries, ongoing efforts by the NCP to alter Abyei’s demographic makeup resettling Al-Missiyray tribes in the region, as well as the unreasonable delay in the formation of the Abyei Referendum Commission (ARC).

“These attempts” added the statement “indicate an intention by some quarters to preclude the conduct of Abyei referendum.”

The SPLM’s statement reaffirmed the SPLM’s desire to continue talks with the NCP on post-referendum issues despite the latter’s reluctance to discuss matters pertaining to changes in the system of governance in Sudan should southerners vote to confirm the unity of Sudan. The former guerrilla movement said it had always stood for Sudan’s unity but added the NCP’s “desire to entrench a theocratic and undemocratic state” as well as its “unconstitutional” practices have thwarted the model of unity advocated by the SPLM.

“The SPLM has distanced itself from unconstitutional practices that the government in Khartoum, of which the SPLM is a member, has carried out against the local press, journalists, doctors and political leaders” said the statement.

“These practices do not reflect the democratic transformation enshrined in the CPA or provide a lasting solution to the root causes of the crises in Sudan’s turbulent peripheries or attract south Sudan people to be part of a state that does not respect its constitution and perforce treat them as second or fourth class citizens.”

The SPLM’s statement cited the issue of the Khartoum-destined helicopter captured on August 10 by south Sudan’s authorities with rebels on board affiliated to Gorge Athor, the renegade SPLA general who launched a rebellion against south Sudan’s government, as an evidence of Khartoum’s “dark schemes against the South.”

The politburo enjoined that those captured on board be brought to trial and further decided to inform the guarantors of the CPA including UN chief, IGAD, African Union, European Union, Arab League of the incident saying it constitutes a "breaching of the ceasefire agreement" signed between the SPLA and the Sudan Armed Forces.


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  • 19 August 2010 04:19, by Jamus

    Bravo SPLM/PB,

    You are our eyes and ears,the future of caming generation depend on your wise decisions of this crucial phase of CPA implementation.You need to collectively put your efforts together without thinking who gets the credit, but the credit will own by all of you.The NCP should be aware that going to Khartoum this time will like a walk in the park.The PB members will be revered as people who changed the lives of marginalised.Those who betray us will never be given a chance this time and if they forget what they did,then they are deemed to repeat it.Keep watch on them.


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    • 19 August 2010 04:33, by H5N1

      we don’t want any delay even for a single minute! and this is what we need from this so called corrupted Politbros! we have a right as citizens and u should always put our right first like now because we don’t breath through your corrupted mouths, we breath through our own...period

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      • 19 August 2010 10:16, by Gatwech

        Dear readers,

        Yes, the Secretary General of the Commission should have gone to the South.

        However, since the debate has gone on for so long and the NCP has used it as a tactic to indefinitely delay the referendum process, it is good that they are given the benefit of the doubt to take it.

        What I like very much is the fact that the Secretary General has a deputy who will be based there in Juba. That is a strategic way of making alternatives.

        This is like the same way the chairman of the commission if NCP while his deputy is SPLM based in Juba. Now the deputy Secretary General will join him in Juba. Great!

        Guys, do you know what I think? This branch of the Commission based in Juba will end up the one conducting the referendum without the head office in Khartoum. With the strategic thinking of South Sudan government that formed the Task Force, I believe that it will be the Task Force, the Commission Branch office in Juba through the blessing of the parliament that will conduct the referendum.

        What a great strategic thinking!!!

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    • 19 August 2010 04:39, by thieleling

      Now, some of the sleeping giants among the PB are waking up!! Great strategic move working in unison. This is what south sudanese expect from the PB members.

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  • 19 August 2010 04:30, by Magos

    Well done Compatriotic on that issue of SPLM rejection the delayment of referendum as it was scheduled on January 9, 2011.I realy endored that final communiqué of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement’s (SPLM) politburo meeting in Juba which the government Southern Sudan declared that there must be no retreat from holding the referendum as scheduled on January 9, 2011.Indeed the South Sudan Referendum is going on without delayment.

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    • 19 August 2010 05:24, by maumau

      Yeah, they got it right, no delay. The more the referendum delays, the more China continue to unearth our oil and Arabs continue sponsoring arm conflicts in the South. SPLM OYEE. MAUMAU

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  • 19 August 2010 04:33, by H5N1

    we don’t want any delay even for a single minute! and this is what we need from this so called corrupted Politbros! we have a right as citizens and u should always put our right first like now because we don’t breath through your corrupted mouths, we breath through our own...period

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  • 19 August 2010 05:31, by James Okuk Solomon

    SPLM PB is Hoodwinking Southerners: Referendum is Already Postponed: This is just politics of sugarcoating while the real bitter realities are hidden beneath the surface. The census and elections experience is still fresh in minds of the critical people who don’t like dishonesty. For example, the Census was conducted despite the statement from the SPLM and GOSS that it will not take place before the issue of religion and ethnicity is resolved. Yasser Arman and the whole Northern Sector were withdrawn from elections race despite the SPLM PB statement that SPLM shall participate in the elections at all levels, including the national presidency. Not only this but Salva Kiir and many SPLM leaders voted for Al-Bashir when they were vocal that he is an ICC convict who deserve to be behind bars rather than ruling the Sudan, and etc.

    But the rope of a lie is very short. Let wait and see how practical this statement of the SPLM PB will hold water before it runs under the bridge sooner as the 9th January 2011 pass with nothing happening for the timely conduct of the referendum. Let’s not deceive ourselves.

    As far as I know the referendum is already postponed for either six or one year as far as the implementation of the remaining parts of the CPA are concerned and in relation to the 2009 Southern Sudan Referendum Act.

    The future is not very far to expose the dubiousness and hoodwinking of the innocent public by both the SPLM and NCP Machiavellian politicians and power-hungary human beings. Let me prepare my eyes for tears of sorrow when what the SPLM PB says here becomes contradicted in very near future as the very SPLM leaders will tolerate postponement of Referendum of the people of Southern Sudan. Dr James Okuk

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    • 19 August 2010 06:10, by DOOR

      Dr Okuk,

      Why is it that you dance whenever something befall SPLM? Increase your faith you are very weak professionally as our political scientist.
      You shouldn’t tie a hopelessness rope on SPLM istead tie it on your own neck.

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      • 19 August 2010 07:32, by Lorolokin


        Am with you these PB are just there to mislead Southerners as such the referendum is already been delayed or even been cancelled by these very people who pretended to be for Southerners but doing their own game.
        OHhhhhhhhhhhhhh God i wish Dr Garang could come back to live to deal with the Arabs.

        Kinkak :)

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        • 19 August 2010 17:28, by Haak

          @ Mr.Akuk, am asking black and white question, when will you learn to appreciate other? Are you upside down or your absent minded? can you not thanks and preaciate the SPLM/A move? if you know you have no potential, never should you mention rotten dead people like Garang, sorry i mean to say Garang has did what he did with his regime, its now your if not our turn to fight policy and strategy fight with Arabs of Bashir
          thanks for your understanding


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    • 19 August 2010 07:03, by maumau

      Dr Okuk, some times you need to applaud SPLM for its positive moves, i know that the SPLA has been doing wrong in your Shilluk Kingdom but this is short lived brother. Let us work together and get independence and work on those reforms later. MAUMAU

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  • 19 August 2010 07:54, by Young Nation

    Dear SPLM Poliburo,

    Your move is crucial and desirable. Keep it as you all intended. God will will always stand behind your back as it stood with us during the dark years of bitter struggle from 1983-2005. You all need need not to be reminded that your political cause a just and reasonable one; the liberation of the vast marginilized and pinned down population of Sudan from East, West, South and in the Centre of our great nation.

    The North should be warned that postponing the conduct of two referenda in Abyei and Southern Sudan is tantamount to Declaration of either Unilateral indipendence of the South War. The next round of war in Sudan, if imposed on us (God forbid) would be matually disastrous to both North and South considering six years of military build up by SPLA in New Sudan and Jallaba troops in the North. I hope NCP is not blind enough to relay of suicidal strategies such as attempt to attack oil rich areas of Abyei, Western Upper Nile and wealthy agricultural sites of Renk and Aweil and Raja.

    SPLM Oyee
    SPLA Oyee,
    Poliburo Oyee
    South Sudan Oyee

    Young Nation is a student of International Relations/Political Science at The UNiversity of Queensland, Australia

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    • 19 August 2010 08:13, by DOOR

      Young Nation,

      For your information you are no longer young nor is our nation young yet.
      Stop isolating your fellow discussants by mentioning that you are a university student of so and so.
      It is sometime good to humble yourself when you are in the audiences which may not share the same status as you.
      Dr Garang use to humble himself by calling himself simply as Garang to match his audiences.
      We expect that you follow Garang’s footsteps and you will be prosperious.
      When we come to Bible, it is boldly stated that you should not praise yourself but let others do it on your behave.

      Sorry! I didn’t mean to be offensive though.

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      • 19 August 2010 21:52, by Tribe

        Hey Door,
        I do appreciate your critics here on the web to always correct or put inline those who seem to be off their path. I would concur with you that it was wrong for "Young Nation" to state his careers and the institution he was studying in. To me , this was a bold ignorant. He ignored that all the discussants here are students too has you stated. Thus, he needs to understand that we all keep it to ourselves because it place no importance here...and less one has other end to meet or hidden agenda.

        However, i don’t see anything wrong with him nick-named himself as a "Young Nation". It’s normal and i hope you are aware of that. On other hand, it meaning to him could mean something different other than what you connoted it with in your above writing. Same as your name here , nobody should go about associating your name "Door" with any regular door that is use for entrance or exit. why? because they have a due respect for your name and they can’t go out of assumption and associate your name with something else. That will be a disrespectful to you . Therefore, we should always be balance and respectful to others.

        Other than that, i do appreciate your critic and your focus on issues.

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    • 19 August 2010 17:46, by MJriaksdca

      Referendum postponement

      Guys, facts have to be told. Dr. James Okuk is not agaisnt south separation. He only points out the weaknesses of the SPLM. SPLM is not consistent. The NCP manages to control SPLM. They don’t back out from their stance. For example, let us say what the true desire of each side on the referendum and see who is succeeding.

      SPLM—is for separation
      NCP---is for unity

      Because SPLM wants separation, it has not acted quick enough to do its part when NCP is not. Instead it keeps on scratching a few things on referendum over a long time that could have been used to solve every issues on referendum.

      NCP has achieved its maneuvering tactics to preserve unity. It has acted relactantly so that time slip by as it did. Now the pressure is with SPLM. Clearly SPLM now sees that problematic issues that require time have not been solved and cannot be solved within the minute time that is left. What other option has it left?

      The option now is to go back to square one, war. Two reason to go back to war: one reason is that the NCP will not give up the constested regions and oil and for that the SPLM will be forced to fight less it let go to NCP those areas.

      The second reason is that if the SPLM goes ahead with holding the referendum without NCP’s main issues not agreed, PLM will meet strong resistance from north. So what is left? independent and forceful declaration of south Sudan independent, something that NCP will not let happen in its watch. The NCP will answer with war. The Ncp may let go of the deep south but not the oil areas situated in the south’s northern side. There a conflict that will engulf the whole Sudan will still errupt.

      We the South may say that if it means we go back to war, then let it be we are not affraid of going back to war. However, that is not the real question. The real thing is whether or not SPLM has acted professionally in preserving the CPA or it has been naive with the North succeeded in not being fooled by SPLM but fool the SPLM.

      Brothers we are southerners and we must tell ourselves facts instead of living with our eyes being blind-folded. The truth is the southern public does not have the deciding power though we are being fooled we are. SPLM as our main party still has the final say. As January ninge nears, and the SPLM come to acknowledge the reality that nothing is going to be possible, it will only make two decisions whose outcome is only war:

      Declaration of South independent=war
      Hold referendum without NCP=war

      As for me I will go with SPLM’s decision to declare independent when NCP is not willing to let us decide our independent through a vallet box. However, in the end we shall all know that SPLM knows only the art of war not the war of the mind that is fought educationally. The few in SPLM who are educated and want to offer solutions only find themselves not succeeding since the majority leaders were only fighters and see only solutions through war other than through the nib of a pen.

      Good luck if we succeed to secure our independence without blood. I pray that we do not go back to war and gain our independent peacefully.

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  • 19 August 2010 08:06, by Michael Anyong

    What is Referendum ? these 21years in unity were enough !! i agreed with SPLM General Secretary, how many papers has been signed since 2005 up to now but we can’t waste time for nothing. thanks

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  • 19 August 2010 08:27, by Pwad Achob

    Hi readers,

    We all want freedom from the northern elites as well as southern elites. Nothing is better neither from NCP nor SPLM if dictatorship is the rule of the game.

    What is plan B if plan A fails? Are we ready to fight another war? Where are the soldiers to fight the next war?

    The government of Sudan has been preparing for war. Are southerners, at this time, preparing for war? I do not know because I am not a military men. But my instinct tell me that there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

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    • 19 August 2010 09:15, by James Deng Dimo

      There is no any further dough on you Dr. James Okuk on who you are, your being an obstacle object between NCP and SPLM to aggravate the referendum process had alarm through your contradictions but keep up your spirit.
      Today, it will not to be the only South Sudanese freedom fighter who will keep on losing their lives but also the obstacle once.
      Keep up your spirit but remember that the South Sudan soil will judge itself, for those who term part to aggravate will be the victims.
      The boycotting of SPLM meeting with NCP on referendum law is a will of the people of South Sudan; the people of South Sudan are well pet up with NCP restriction. We in different political parties in Sudan are seeing SPLM as the only the party to take the people of South Sudan to a newest state in Africa.
      Personally, I away get into surprise when I do read Dr. James Okuk articles and comments attempting to be an position figure in South Sudan Referendum, but may you allow me to advise you that if you need unity, please take your time with your family to sheep to the North before the Success of those who need Separation of South from North, otherwise there will be no room for you here in South.
      Separation Oyyeeeeeee
      The Republic of South Sudan Oyyeeeeeeeeee
      Southern Oyyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

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      • 19 August 2010 10:19, by Flora Tong

        Hi all,

        Again, we approach issues with emotions for nothing. The separation of our nation from the North is a done case. We have gone mentally but only need to put it in a paper that is what the referendum is. Let us think of what after the referendum exercise, what are the scenarios among us southerners? Will be South Sudan of our own be safe and all citizens be treated equally? Will there be development and transparency? This is what we should be scratching our head about not NCP and their known games, we know them already that they are our enemies and they will do what ever they can to abstract us but we are moving on with our diction to be a nation.

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        • 19 August 2010 14:25, by Toposa Boy Southerner

          To James Okuk Solomon

          You’re the only one who understood the useless BP the Dinkas government trying to feed as with nonsense info
          Referendum as been delayed already by Dinkies government in Juba
          Those BP knows very well once the southerners done with Arab the focus will be on Dinkas government
          That’s why they want to keep southerners busy with Arab problems forever

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          • 19 August 2010 14:35, by Toposa Boy Southerner

            Correction I mean PB

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