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Museveni urges rival S. Sudan ruling party factions to unite

May 3, 2018 (JUBA) – Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has urged the different factions of South Sudan’s governing party (SPLM) to unite as one entity in order to resolve their conflicts.

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Presidents Yoweri Museveni (L) and Salva Kiir at South Sudan’s ruling party meeting in Juba, May 3, 2018 (Courtesy photo)

Museveni made these remarks while addressing the National Liberation Council (NLC) meeting of the SPLM in the capital, Juba Thursday.

"Force is like surgery. It should be the last resort to removing a tumour. If you use the knife to cut anyhow, you cease to be a surgeon, you become a butcher,” said Museveni.

He added, “Revolutionaries should know that violence is only for enemies. What enmity is there among the people of South Sudan?"

Museveni, one of the leaders involved in South Sudan’s peace process, was the only head of state who attended the NLC event.

The acting secretary general of the SPLM, Jemma Nunu Kumba said it remains the moral obligation of party members to end the suffering of the people of South Sudan by uniting as a means to end the war.

“We have no time to remain bitter and no time to dwell in the past, because the future is more important than the past, and because the hopes of our people depends on us,” Kumba told the meeting.

“It is high time we rise above our past and above our differences to deliver a peaceful environment in which our noble people will live and take care of their own aspirations,” she added.

The senior SPLM official, however, acknowledged the role regional leaders have played in the SPLM re-unification process since 2015,

In January 2015, delegates from three factions of the SPLM party signed a 12-page agreement in Arusha, Tanzania, laying out key steps toward reunifying the party.

The faction loyal to President Salva Kiir, the SPLM-in-Opposition led by former First Vice President, Riek Machar, and a third made up of party officials detained when the conflict began in December 2013, signed the accord.

The SPLM was initially founded as the political wing of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). The party, in the aftermath of the civil war that broke out in the country in mid-December 2013, split into the SPLM-Juba faction headed by Kiir, SPLM-IO led by Machar and that of the former political detainees.