Earlier this month this important warning was issued by Riek Machar. Below it is a reply by a group loyal to President Salva Kiir and background by the Sudd Institute. Tragically, they could not head off the crisis.


Press Statement By Dr Riek Machar

“We, the members of the SPLM Political Bureau, National Liberation
Council and SPLM leaders have called this press conference to
enlighten our people on the internal crisis that has engulfed the SPLM
leadership and paralyzed its functions in the government and in our

08 December 2013


Revolutionary comrades, members of the SPLM

Our esteemed people of South Sudan

Distinguished Members of the Press

We, the members of the SPLM Political Bureau, National Liberation
Council and SPLM leaders have called this press conference to
enlighten our people on the internal crisis that has engulfed the SPLM
leadership and paralyzed its functions in the government and in our
society. The crisis started immediately after the tragic death of the
SPLM historical and eternal leader Dr. John Garang de Mabior and
manifested itself in the following:-

• The anti-Garang elements inside and outside the SPLM encircled
comrade Salva Kiir Mayardit’s leadership of the SPLM and the
Government of Southern Sudan [2005-2007]. This phenomenon compromised
SPLM positions vis-a-vis the NCP in the CPA implementation, and in
many incidences General Salva Kiir retreated from positions negotiated
earlier by Dr. John Garang. These elements using their relationship
with General Salva Kiir targeted and ostracized certain SPLM leaders
and cadres they nicknamed ‘Garang orphans/boys’ creating schisms and
precipitating open quarrels within the SPLM ranks;

• The shift in decision making process from SPLM national organs to
regional and ethnic lobbies around the SPLM chairman when it came to
appointments to positions in government; that membership of the SPLM
and one’s participation in the revolutionary struggle became
irrelevant. The SPLM is NOT a ruling party. In practice decisions are
essentially made by one person, and in most cases directed by regional
and ethnic lobbies and close business associates surrounding the SPLM

• The efforts to transform the SPLM from a liberation movement into a
mass based political party have totally been frustrated by the
Chairman. General Salva ignored the grassroots views and demands
garnered between July and August 2012 for the SPLM re-organization.
The Political Bureau, the only organ that met nonetheless it had been
difficult to translate its resolutions into plans of action in the
Executive or legislations in the National Assembly, because of lack of
collective leadership and the paralysis of the General Secretariat;

• There is no formal communication between the party organs at the
national level and those in the States, County, Payam and Boma levels.
The Government drives the SPLM rather than the other way round. The
SPLM Chairman now uses his executive powers as President of the
Republic, relying on his Presidential ADVISOR, to manage the SPLM and
the country;

The crisis reached boiling point in March 2013 when General Salva Kiir
cancelled the meeting of the National Liberation Council; issued a
Presidential Decree withdrawing the delegated powers from his Vice
President and First Deputy Chairman. Other decrees followed including
the dismissal on false grounds of the Governors of Lakes and Unity
States; the dismissal and appointment of a new Cabinet and the
suspension of the SPLM Secretary General. We want to assure our people
that these were personal decisions by General Salva Kiir since neither
the PB nor the National Liberation Council (NLC) deliberated on these
decisions, which have far-reaching implications for the SPLM and the

The SPLM Chairman has completely immobilized the party, abandoned
collective leadership and jettisoned all democratic pretensions to
decision making. The SPLM is no longer the ruling party. The leader of
South Sudan Democratic Forum heads the SPLM Government Cabinet and
recent infiltrators/converts from the NCP now lead the National
Legislative Assembly and the Council of States respectively. The
Chairman did not care to appoint second or third tier SPLM leaders and
cadres to occupy these positions if he had trouble with the first tier
leaders. In the Army, General Salva Kiir Mayardit has demobilized the
seasoned SPLA commanders and made them redundant. This action amounts
to erasing the historical legacy of the SPLM suggesting that comrade
Salva Kiir is on trek to form his personal army, in the guise of
Presidential Guards. General Salva Kiir intends to form his own
political party linked to the NCP and has nothing to do with the
historic struggle of our people.

As a result, the Chairman unconstitutionally dissolved key SPLM organs
namely the Political Bureau and the National Liberation Council and
the National and States Secretariat on account that their mandates had
expired in May 2013. He has already instructed the State Governors,
(instead of the State SPLM Secretariats), to appoint their preferred
delegates to the SPLM 3rd National Convention scheduled for February
2014. The intention is to sideline and prevent SPLM historical leaders
and cadres categorized as ‘potential competitors’ from participation
in the Convention. This is very dangerous move and is likely to plunge
the party and the country into the abyss.

We want to bring to the attention of the masses of our people that
General Salva Kiir has surrendered the SPLM power to opportunists and
foreign agents. These actions undermine the hard won independence and
sovereignty of the Republic of South Sudan.

The Government of South Sudan is misleading the public that it is
servicing the 4.5 billion USD debt. It is not known where these monies
were loaned from and on what they were spent as the country has been
under austerity regime since April 2012. This is definitely a question
of corruption that must be addressed together with the dura saga, the
shoddy road contracts and the issue of 75 letters of defamation of
SPLM historical leaders and cadres.

The deep-seated divisions within the SPLM leadership, exacerbated by
dictatorial tendencies of the SPLM Chairman, and the dysfunctional
SPLM structures from national to local levels are likely to create
instability in the party and in the country. For these reasons, and
out of our sincere concern about future of our people, we the SPLM
members of the Political Bureau and the Leadership of the party are
obliged to inform the public about the true state of affairs in the
SPLM and how General Salva Kiir is driving our beloved Republic of
South Sudan into chaos and disorder.

In order to resolve this crisis, we call on the SPLM Chairman to
convene the Political Bureau to set the agenda for the National
Liberation Council so as to correct the deviation from the SPLM vision
and direction. And address the present challenges within the SPLM with
the view of revitalizing and restoring the SPLM to the driving seat.
The SPLM should hold steering wheel of the two historical processes of
nation building and state building.

Long live the struggle of our people

Glory and honour to our martyrs

Long live South Sudan

Long live SPLM

Viva SPLM viva

Juba, December 6, 2013

Response by a Committee of PB/NLC Members still committed to the Unity of SPLM under its Elected Chairman Gen Salva Kiir Mayardit

From the Deputy Chairman’s Office, 08/12/13

Click to access splm%20press.pdf

South Sudan and the Risks of Unrest

Jok Madut Jok | 3 December 2013 | Sudd Institute

Publication Summary

Though South Sudanese have been expressing disappointment in the way
their young state has been run ever since independence was declared in
2011, they have been more recently appalled by news that has bombarded
them about government failures, fiscal misdeeds, unclear policies,
uncertainties of what the future holds for them in terms of security,
development, livelihoods, basic freedoms, the constitution,
reconciliation, census, elections and the balance of powers. More
concerning is the fact that the legislative assembly is at the mercy
of the president instead of carrying out its constitutional mandate
that oversees the actions of the executive. Another subject of heated
discussions is the fate of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement
(SPLM) the liberation movement turned ruling party, whose structures
the president recently dissolved, rendering the party nearly
paralyzed. In short, the noose seems to tighten ever more around the
neck of the entire nation.

The bombshell news, however, was the recent announcement that South
Sudan has accumulated a whopping 4.5b South Sudanese Pounds (SSPs)
debt in the short two years since the shut down of oil production. Our
inquiries reveal that during austerity period following the shut down
of oil production in early 2012, the country continued rampant
borrowing at very high interest rates and short repayment schedules.
When the oil production resumed just recently, the government found
itself servicing these loans that were acquired under seriously opaque
circumstances, if not entirely fraudulent. Why are South Sudanese only
hearing about this debt now? Who had approved it? What projects were
funded with it? Was it spent on salaries and what is the evidence or

This week, the Sudd Institute tries to answer these important questions.


Full report also available online at

Click to access South-Sudan-and-the-Risks-of-UnrestJJok.pdf