August 18, 2013 (JUBA) - A group of business leaders on Sunday threw their support behind president Salva Kiir’s decision to suspend Pagan Amum, the secretary general of South Sudan’s governing Sudan People’s Movement (SPLM).
- Former SPLM secretary general Pagan Amum (AFP/Getty)
The business leaders demanded that any reconciliation between the two must be preceded by Amum apologising and withdrawing his petition against his suspension in the South Sudan’s courts.
"We the leaders from various business groups stand behind the decision taken by the president Salva Kiir Mayardit. We assure him our support on the reduction and reshuffle the cabinet. This is a constitutional mandate of the president. We also provide unwavering support to decision by the president in his capacity as chairman of the SPLM to suspend the secretary general", Lual Bol Kuan, the spokesperson of various South Sudanese business groups said on Sunday.
Kuan accused Amum of insubordination by allegedly acting in a way contrary to the SPLM’s existing guiding principles by avoiding using appropriate and structures within the leadership to address his grievances.
"We have been keeping quiet as business groups because we knew our leadership would stand together to support the president, but we have seen that the decisions are being sabotaged. Some have started talking about reconciliation. They say president [Kiir] should be reconciled with Pagan [Amum] and the other groups. This is not right. If they want, Pagan [Amum] must come out publicly to apologise and withdraw the petition against decision of the president from the court if they want reconciliation”, Kuan told Sudan Tribune on Sunday.
Meanwhile an official at the national secretariat accused an unidentified group within the government of circulating reports in an attempt to discredit achievement of the governing party and the president, allegedly by spreading lies to assassinate character of the leader.
The official claimed that the government was possessing an intelligence report, whose authenticity could not be verified, showing that there were some key government officials were working with foreign governments and international organisations to discredit the SPLM and its leaders.
The report, according to the official, claims that there were senior government officials who have drawn up three plans aimed at removing the president Salva Kiir from power at any cost.
"These groups have drawn up three strategic plans. One plan is try to sabotage decision of the president through the parliament where they will be voting against any decision of the president. The other plan is voting against him at the national [SPLM] convention. The last option is to form all alternative party and if they fail to win the election. [A] coup is also one of their resorts", he explained.
The source claimed the intelligence report contains information similar to statements used in recent months by some senior officials in interviews with foreign and local media.
"I have no doubt in my mind that this report has been widely circulated among certain leaders in the SPLM leadership. The information contained in the report about activities of these officials is worrying, as it has changed the opinions of some leaders about the president. I tell you now there are officials at the secretariat who in the past would accept to defend the chairperson of the SPLM have changed in recent past and today are the worst enemies of the president", he said.
He said he has throughout his life advocated togetherness and collective effort that fights against the abuse of state institutions for the narrow factional activities in the SPLM leadership.
However, Deng Lual, a member of the Sudan People’s Liberation (SPLM), said there are hoax reports circulating around in the name of the security allegedly to create conflict within the leadership.
"We have come to realise that there are groups between the leaders who are taking advantage of the current political situation. These groups are the one writing and producing haughty reports attributed to the security organs. I was one of the members who were assigned to verify authenticity of this intelligence report but we found that it is a report aimed at dividing the leadership. All the contents of the reports are unsubstantiated. It is just a ruse report", he said.
He said the report he saw was full of fabrications and unfounded allegations about the conducts of individual leaders within the SPLM leadership.
"Today, a report I saw has all the hallmarks of rogue elements in the employ of the factionalists within our leadership. The contents of the report that I saw today has nothing substantial. It is all about rumours, hearsay, speculations and allegations which are all nonsense other than complete and total fabrications by, among other things, constructing transcripts of telephone discussions and meetings that never took place with the purpose of smearing and getting removed the secretary general and other officials. This is why the leadership today is in turmoil, divided and totally confused", he explained in an interview with Sudan Tribune on Sunday.
Deng Barach Deng, a native of Jonglei state, questioned the authenticity of the intelligence report, claiming the report was concocted as part of the political conspiracy to discredit and liquidate some leaders in the leadership by spreading false information about their conduct.
“There is too much politics within SPLM and we have consistently maintained that there is a concerted effort by forces within and outside to turn it from being a popular party to a failed organisation. This campaign about the conduct of individual members started in 2008. A campaign to remove comrade Pagan Amum as the secretary general failed during the second national convention. But these forces are still pushing. They want him removed”, he said.
President Kiir’s cabinet reshuffle in July also removed his long-time deputy Riek Machar, who had become increasingly critical of Kiir and the SPLM’s going as far as declaring his intention to run for the presidency in 2015.