April 21, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – South Sudanese rebels allied to the former vice president, Riek Machar, have officially launched the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLM/SPLA) “armed resistance” and called for restructuring of all public sectors in the state of South Sudan to conform to the federal system of governance.
- South Sudan’s former vice-president Riek Machar (AFP/Getty)
The leadership of SPLM/SPLA and representatives of other political parties, faith based groups, civil society organizations, youth and women groups, traditional leaders, church leaders and eminent personalities, met from April 15th-18th, 2014 in Nasir, Upper Nile State, South Sudan, in a consultative conference which resolved on various matters in the newly launched armed struggle.
The conference “resolved to establish in South Sudan a democratic, just, transparent and people-driven political system-Federalism,” reads one of its resolutions.
The conference further agreed that a future interim government shall be based on a comprehensive peace agreement which shall address the structuring of the state on the basis of an interim federal constitution.
It also resolved to transform and sensitise the regular forces as well as ensure the transformation of the volunteer fighters into discipline soldiers under the SPLA command and control.
The conference also endorsed the former vice president, Riek Machar, as the chairperson and commander-in-chief of the new movement.
It also declared president Salva Kiir as "an illegitimate leader given his deeds" that have dragged the country into the current political, security and humanitarian crisis, and further called on the international community to do the same.
The rebel movement formed a provisional leadership structure with eight specialised committees, each to be headed by a chairperson. He or she will be deputised by a deputy and secretary, three of whom shall be appointed by the chairperson of the movement from able and competent members of the movement.
Each committee shall comprise of 15 members and assisted by a secretariat.
The conference resolved that such committees shall include peace and national reconciliation committee; political mobilisation committee; foreign affairs committees; justice and human rights committee; finance and resources mobilization committee; information and public relations committee; humanitarian and social services committee; and women and youth empowerment committee.
The conference reiterated the call for withdrawal of all foreign forces from the country, such as the Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) that are fighting alongside Salva Kiir’s government.
It also renewed commitment to the peace processes mediated by the regional bloc –IGAD, but warned of intensifying the war into Equatoria and Bahr el Ghazal regions to remove Kiir from power should the government in Juba not talk peace in good faith.