Home | News    Friday 14 February 2014

SPLM seven join Addis Ababa talks, form third bloc


By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

February 13, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) - The seven South Sudan’s ruling party (SPLM) leaders, recently released from detention in Juba, announced on Thursday that they would neither ally with government nor rebels led by ex-vice president Riek Machar.

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Former South Sudanese detainees hold a press conference in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on 13 February 2014 (Photo: IGAD)

The seven SPLM leaders, who have been in in Kenya since their release on 29 January, arrived in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa on Wednesday night to take part in the second round of peace negotiations between the South Sudan government and the SPLM/A-in-Opposition rebels.

The talks are aimed at ending almost two months of conflict that began in disputed circumstances on December 15 among an elite unit of South Sudan’s army (SPLA) following weeks of tension within the ruling SPLM.

In a press conference on Thursday, the former detainees said they will participate at the on going peace talks as a third independent group, which they called it ’SPLM leaders former detainees’.

A member of the group told Sudan Tribune that the new SPLM leader’s team doesn’t have different political position from that of SPLM/A-in-Opposition delegation including on key issues such as ensuring democracy and good governance in South Sudan.

Their participation as a third bloc is due the fact that the former detainees don’t have armed forces on ground unlike Machar’s group. Machar and some other senior members of the SPLM had held a press conference in earlier December criticising the leadership of President Salva Kiir.

While Machar escaped from Juba with former Unity state governor Taban Deng Gai, when the fighting began. 11 senior SPLM members were arrested and accused of being behind an alleged coup attempt in the country.

After international pressure and a ceasefire deal signed on 23 January Juba released seven of he detainees but kept four, including the SPLM’s former secretary general in custody.

The team of former detainees are calling for an all inclusive dialogue to end the nearly two-month old conflict that has killed an estimated 10,000 people and forced almost a million to flee their homes.

They further also urged the government to release of the four SPLM leaders who remain in detention in connection to the alleged coup attempt of December 15 which they underscored was not a coup but only a misunderstanding between members of the presidential guards.

The seven former detainees, in a joint communiqué, called on President Kiir to allow Peter Adwok, a former politburo SPLM member, who had been barred from traveling to Ethiopia to take part in the first round of peace talks, to now be allowed to join them in Addis Ababa.

The group of the former detainees reiterated their commitment to a peaceful settlement to the crisis in South Sudan but further expressed concern over the humanitarian situation and called on the government, United Nations and the international community increase the provision of humanitarian aid.

The seven SPLM leaders also lauded IGAD’s involvement in event that led to their release, but stressed that their general treatment while in detention "was not that bad". They further said they weren’t beaten, were well treated, but hardly saw the sun.

The United Nations on Wednesday said the humanitarian crises in South Sudan has hit ’level three emergency’, the highest level under the UN’s categorisation placing the East African nation at the same level as the current humanitarian crisis in Syria.

They stressed a need to focus on a political settlement and called on IGAD and the international community to urgently deploy the Monitoring and Verification Mechanism - agreed under the cessation of hostilities agreement - to ensure the last month’s deal is implemented effectively.

They further noted that Uganda’s military presence in South Sudan would negatively affect efforts to bring about a political solution to the crises in the world’s youngest nation.


With regard to the former detainees’ decision to join talks as third party, SPLM/A-in-Opposition official said his team respects their neutral position in the negotiations.

"What we demanded from the beginning was that the released detainees should join the peace process whether they choose to join our delegation or stand as a third party" The spokesperson of the SPLM/SPLA- in Opposition, Yohanis Pouk, told Sudan Tribune in Addis Ababa late on Thursday.

"We share with them the same political view and there is no doubt that they will contribute positively as senior political leaders" he added.

Bor Gatwech, the coordinator for SPLM In Opposition in Addis Ababa also confirmed plans by the seven senior SPLM leaders to form a third bloc at the ongoing talks.

"They want to pursue the political reforms in non violent way," Gatwech told Sudan Tribune, adding "So, they will sit as a separate group during the talks and express their political views to the IGAD mediators."

The political talks between the two South Sudanese warring factions focusing on the root causes of the conflict, on political and national reconciliation are expected to resume tomorrow in the presence of the former detainees under the auspices of the East African regional bloc IGAD.

The venue of peace talks has been moved from the Ethiopian capital to Deberezait, a resort town some 50 kilometers south of Addis Ababa.


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  • 14 February 2014 08:00, by Kiir

    Welcome and join your colleague Dr. Riek

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    • 14 February 2014 08:12, by Big Boy

      Stupid Kiir who are their colleagues, but they are non violence like food-lover Riak, i hope you understand their position now!! they are not cowadic like Food lover of Nuer?

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      • 14 February 2014 14:42, by Whortti Bor Manza

        Big Boy,What is a food lover? No any living thing can survive without food. define NUTRITION. If you mean Nuers, Dinkas were prominent super food lovers of the NCP: George Kongor Arop, Prof. Moses Machar Kashol were top Southerners in the government of Bashir as Vice presidents. Why don’t you call them food lovers. After all the chief of the army general staff is a Nuer: Gen. James Hoth Mai.

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      • 14 February 2014 16:17, by Paul


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    • 14 February 2014 09:15, by Tutbol

      The mediators think they are doing any good to the people of S Sudan, but they hatching another *Somalisation* of S Sudan, with these so-called group of (7) seven, who were all part of Kiir govt, but when they were retrenched & some of them accused of extreme corruption like Deng Alor, and 64 others including the ones in the Riek Machar’s camp & the sheeple ones in the main SPLM camp?...

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      • 14 February 2014 09:26, by Tutbol

        Over 80% of S Sudanese applauded Kiir when they were when these ’weevils were weaned off from the SPLM/A that some suck like babies who want to their mom to entity; Deng Alor is the grandest example of these two opposing the govt of the S Sudanese peoples. Deng Alor is just another copy Riek Machar in Dinka, the guy is a no gooder in the history of S Sudanese, he loves everything Deng Alor...

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        • 14 February 2014 09:45, by Tutbol

          and everything must be in Deng Alor world, during the bush years, Deng Alor was all about where he/his family get food, while everybody else in all of the corners of S Sudan were copping their nights without foods! Our reginal mediators, who think they are doing good to the S Sudanese peoples, if at all they really want stable & peaceful S Sudan...

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          • 14 February 2014 09:57, by Tutbol

            The group of seven (7) that includes Deng Alor, shouldn’t be in that current negotiation, but in a *negotiation that will involve all, including *Riek Machar armed rebellion* group, but should some criminals in Europe & the US, plus our own lowly & poorly informed member countries in own our IGAD continue NOT to heed the S Sudanese calls; ...

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            • 14 February 2014 10:00, by Tutbol

              in current S Sudanese peace talks in Ethiopia, then they have their own agenda that is parallel to S Sudanese agenda.

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      • 14 February 2014 12:43, by Adodi Jotuwa

        The remaining founding father of the new nation, Cde. Salva Kiir Mayardit will still be in charge of any discussed, proposed or planned political reform. Not what is so-called SPLM/A in Opposition/SSRM led by Dr. Fool Riek Machar or the group of seven/eight. IGAD, AU and international community must note that it’s Dr. Fool Riek Machar who is calling himself and tribesmen SPLA/M in Opposition/SSRM

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        • 14 February 2014 12:49, by Adodi Jotuwa

          The IGAD, AU, and international community must not ignore the political prostitution of Dr. Fool Riek Machar since 1991 and how he was given VP in a golden plate. After all, the political or economic reform of any western country was not discussed outside their country or in South Sudan. It was not South Sudan who pressured an elected government to make political reform in USA in the 1960s.

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          • 14 February 2014 12:57, by Adodi Jotuwa

            IGAD,AU and international community should help how such reform can really take place based on the will of the people of South Sudan not food lovers who pretend to look reformists but resort to brutal killing innocent people of one tribe (Dinka) in the whole South Sudan in the name of reform or democracy. IGAD, AU and international community must contrast political record of Riek and Kiir first.

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            • 14 February 2014 13:04, by Adodi Jotuwa

              Election is just around the corner, forming the so-called interim government is a waste of time and a recipe for another tribal war. IGAD, AU and international community must create an environment where if Riek loses in a democratic election that he often talks about, he should not mobilize his innocent tribesmen to rebel, which has become a culture of power base instead of accepting defeat.

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              • 14 February 2014 13:13, by Adodi Jotuwa

                Why always rebellion after election defeat in South Sudan but not in other countries? How can IGAD, AU and international community help South Sudanese political leaders not to rebel by rushing to mobilize tribe if one loses in election? Who believes that the government has never been inclusive since 2005 up to today?

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                • 14 February 2014 13:24, by Adodi Jotuwa

                  What kind of inclusive government that we’re talking about regardless of tribal representation? How can we form a lean, big or small government regardless of tribes or excluding the word "inclusivity"? If the issue is about service delivery, then we don’t need to talk about or misinterpret inclusivity regardless of how lean, big or small, democratic or transparent the government is.

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                  • 14 February 2014 13:35, by Adodi Jotuwa

                    The issue should be who can really deliver based on political record and judgment? Who can really advance this country, South Sudan for a better future for the benefit of all South Sudanese, Africa and international community? Riek or Kiir? If political debate was to be broadcast on media/TV as in the west, I don’t really believe if Riek or SPLM 7/8 would score any political points.

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                    • 14 February 2014 13:41, by Adodi Jotuwa

                      This is where the issue lies. This is the area that IGAD, AU and international community do not want to consider when they play their role in getting South Sudan stand on its feet politically, culturally, socially and economically. What kind of mind set should every tribe, big or small, in South Sudan have, develop and utilize for the benefit of all before we talk about reconciliation and peace?

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                      • 14 February 2014 13:51, by Adodi Jotuwa

                        This must be the homework for every South Sudanese, IGAD, AU, and international community otherwise we will keep beating around the bush and even small political crisis can easily escalate into a large-scale conflict as it happened in Kenyan elections of 2007, Zimbabwe, you name it. Every tribe, big or small, has its own interest but how can we forge a common understanding without violence?

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                        • 14 February 2014 14:05, by Adodi Jotuwa

                          We always say/sing education is the key. But what kind of education should one have for the benefit of the nation, besides family or tribe? Primary or Secondary school education, Bachelor or Master Degree or PhD? Why some PhD holders lose in elections as it happens in the West and other developing countries? The issue is "there is a stark difference between college degree and educated person."

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    • 14 February 2014 10:13, by Mapuor

      All coup plotters should form one negotiating group and negotiate as one body,as a Nyagaat group fighting for food and money after they were removed.Its plain and simple,apportioning of positions on tribal bases would be the only solution to Nyagaats problem,else I don’t see anything negotiable.

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      • 14 February 2014 10:35, by Mi diit

        Their plan is to spear Kiir from the angle. Who cares. Any way they have already declared that their political view is the same with that of Dr. Riek Machar, only that they don’t have forces on the ground. Let them try the third bloc and join Dr. Riek in the process. I love their attack on dictatorship of Mrs. Akiir Mayardit. What a tactical confusion!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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        • 14 February 2014 10:40, by Mi diit

          What a tactical confusion!!!!!!!!!!!!Ahahahahahaahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.....

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    • 15 February 2014 07:41, by Johndumo14

      Even if Uganda withdraw its troops form S,Sudan,Dr Riek Machar`s rebels will never defeat the SPLA (government Troops).
      He didnot win the war in 1991 with SPLA when they were together with Arabs of Khartoum ,how can he will win this war?

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  • 14 February 2014 08:12, by Paul Chadrack

    third group but share idea with splm/a in opposition. very good. the facts will resurface because here in south sudan the spade is being call being spoon which we need to give it its right name. the problem here is few people from bhar el gazels need themselves only to enjoy our independent dividends.

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  • 14 February 2014 08:14, by Ajongtar

    I told you guyz since that time that the Juba 11 SPLM sinior politburue members are Heroes.
    Pagan Amum will be next president of South Sudan.
    Lets see what will hapen with the OYEEEEEEEEEE BOYZ.
    SPLM Oyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

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  • 14 February 2014 08:16, by Panda Odhie

    HAAAAAAA,OOOOOOOOOOO,rebels are on frustration and desperate of their lives,sorry walai. you are welcome to talk guys that is the good way of politics not to kill your own people by riffle is the solution ,no but through non violence we all appreciate your decision and you deserve leadership again,hurray

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    • 14 February 2014 08:44, by Kiir

      UPDF is pulling out of S. Sudan. Tell Akiir

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  • 14 February 2014 08:17, by Marco Bul

    Hey!! Where is Lado Gore? Heard he ran with Riek and Taban.I told u before that these politicians are neutral.They are civilized coz they don’t like violence.

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  • 14 February 2014 08:23, by Ajongtar

    What we want is a Political Reform in the SPLM, period.
    Oyeeeeeeeeee Boyz must work hard to make Kiir understands that there is need for Reform in the SPLM Leadership.
    Our next President of South Sudan will be Pagan Amum.
    Pagan Oyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

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    • 14 February 2014 08:27, by Bentiu son

      Welcome bravos-senior prominent members of ruling Party SPLM to participate in peaceful political dialogue of South Sudan.It is your choices which side to join whether genocidal regime team leads by Nhial Deng Nhial or pro-democratic freedom fighters team leads by Gen Taban Deng Gai.I hereby giving more thanks to Dr Machar n Mama Nyadeng for their firm stance to rescued the lives of their mates

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      • 14 February 2014 08:30, by Bentiu son

        whom some remain under the custody of brutal regime of Salva Kiir n his stooges team.Moreover,I appreciated the positive roles played by our big prof Dr Aduok Nyaba concerning about the root causes of this confused tribal/politico crisis which damaged lives, properties n facilities across the country.We entire South Sudanese people also giving more thanks to IGAD Members with exception of Uganda

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        • 14 February 2014 08:57, by michael coma

          Bentiu son
          Who killed people and demaged properties apart from Riek?In Bor, an elderly blind women and disable woman who was not able walk was killed,her head was chopped off and cooked and placed near her body.Welcome to the talk seven detainees and make sure you don’t support the killer Riek again as he distorted you peaceful leadership change.

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          • 14 February 2014 09:07, by michael coma

            The killer called Riek as he distorted your peaceful leadership strungled.If you continue supporting him it means that you are heartless people forever.Riek planned coup absent of your knowledge and run to the bush and left you behind while pretending that he knows you.If you were killed by govt no one would have been blame apart from Riek.So be careful of that blood sucker.

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          • 14 February 2014 14:25, by Bentiu son

            Bor Gok orphan ya Michael Coma,it seems you are behind the news about the current tribal crisis in the country.It is a big lie to mislead the public about military activities on the grounds. Notice it wasn’t Dr Machar’s freedom fighters who burned down the States’capital of Greater Upper Nile region:Malakal,Bor n Bentiu town but did by Gelweng militias/SPLA of Salva Kiir.They burned down

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            • 14 February 2014 14:35, by Bentiu son

              to ashes all the counties of Unity States- Mayom,Guit,Koch Parieng,Leer,Rupkona,and Payinjiar as punishment to Dr Machar n Gen Taban Deng Gai but I assure you this imposed war will forsure touch everyone either directly or indirectly.The same scenarios will spread like fire to all States in lieu courses.Those who celebrate now will mourn badly tomorrow.We are now re-organizing our ranks for f kick

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        • 14 February 2014 23:31, by william

          You whore UPDF was not there on day one and yet your looters were flashed out of Juba were they? Therefore, those who fucked your traitors out of the city are still there. Otherwise, present of UPDF in south saved nuer not Dinka. If your IQ are really working do you think your 16 counties can defeat 33 counties in war? you are very stupid indeed. imbecile woman called will regrets.

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  • 14 February 2014 09:04, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    This third bloc should be treat as rebels, their demand are like, the same.

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  • 14 February 2014 09:18, by NO PEACE

    Wow, all detainees are from DR. Machar side ms Nyakiir and her husband will leave south sudan very soon.

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  • 14 February 2014 10:06, by Mapuor

    The first question South Sudanese should ask is; why did all the disgruntled group sent their families to other countries if they did not plan for the war?I think forming a third bloc is totally nonsense. Some just want to sneak back to their tribes to continue with their dirty politics.Twic East has already shown full support to Macar by allowing their land to be used as a base for attacking

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    • 14 February 2014 10:11, by Mapuor

      All coup plotters should form one negotiating group and negotiate as one body,as a Nyagaat group fighting for food and money after they were removed.Its plain and simple,apportioning of positions on tribal bases would be the only solution to Nyagaats problem,else I don’t see anything negotiable.

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  • 14 February 2014 12:13, by Big Boy

    Dear Food-lover of Nuer
    Wow Riak he’s feeling humiliate now! he was thinking that those of detainee’s they mightjoin him in bush and fiht for relief agency to be delivery at Akobo,Nassir stronghold for rebels..but this’s a good news for Deng Alor with their colleagues to be a neutral as 3rd party what a big shame Food-lover men feel now?

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  • 14 February 2014 12:23, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    the reason, for the same treatment is: * They are demanding the release of others four remaining detainees. * their alliance to Riek Machar for political reform in the country is one like they are demanding transitional government which exclude president Kiir, and that what we dodn’t wants.

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  • 14 February 2014 15:39, by The rock

    I luv kiir so much just because of his endurance n strong ability n patriotism visionary personality but allowing the 7 political detainees to participate in the talk is unfairly move by our government, I don’t personally see the difference between rebels n the 7 political detainees because that’s what they planned together with Riek Machar.
    if allowing them to participate in peace talk is a g

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    • 14 February 2014 16:14, by Awei-ngok

      You are right. These guys should not have been allowed to leave the country in the first place.They are criminals and should be punished legally.I hope the rope tied on their tails by the SS goverment through Kenya is still holding on.This is another pending rebellion in the future when Riek is contained.The government should watch them closely!

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      • 14 February 2014 16:21, by Awei-ngok

        So this messive situation was created so that people go for negotiation in Adid Ababa?Was Deng Alor really knew there were other negotiations pending for Abyei,and accepted to go for internal problem creation so that he could manage to turn away the focus from Abyei? Abyei citizens should isolate Deng Alor for the rest of his life.He is their betrayer.He is not standing for the good cause of Ngok.

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      • 14 February 2014 16:23, by Awei-ngok

        So this messive situation was created so that people go for negotiation in Adid Ababa?Was Deng Alor really knew there were other negotiations pending for Abyei,and accepted to go for internal problem creation so that he could manage to turn away the focus from Abyei? Abyei citizens should isolate Deng Alor for the rest of his life.He is their betrayer.He is not standing for the good cause of Ngok.

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        • 14 February 2014 16:34, by Awei-ngok

          They are rebels in disguise..ahahhaaaaaaaaaaa!
          Comauflaging yourselves will never let us fail to uncover you. We will!!!!! Ahhaaaaaaaaaaa!

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