SPLM accuses Machar of ‘prolonging’ South Sudan’s struggle for liberation

SPLM accuses Machar of ‘prolonging’ South Sudan’s struggle for liberation
First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar. [Photo: courtesy]

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) Secretary for Political Affairs Kuol Atem has sensationally claimed that struggle for the independence was slowed down by First Vice President, Dr Riek Machar.

Atem added that the war on liberation struggle would have taken just five years instead of 21, had Machar stuck with his peers.

 “Riek Machar was in Khartoum for 10 years. He used to move with the soldiers of the Arabs that is why we spent 21 years,” he claimed.

“Our country was supposed to come out within five years only, but because of our own making, we spent 21 years,” he added.

In a quick rejoinder, Riek, through his press secretary, Puok Baluang, refuted the claims terming the statement as inappropriate.

He added that SPLM has moved beyond “soiling the good name and the contribution of Dr. Machar and the sacrifices he made for the movement.”

“I think our history itself can refute all these accusations. His Excellence Dr. Riek has been advocating from the beginning of the movement, and in that process of SPLM, he won a lot of battles of war, and he is one of the pillars that helped the movement to stand strong until our independence.”

“Secondly, His Excellence Dr. Machar is the one who has been calling for the separation of South Sudan and having our own independence, a country that we are all enjoying now. Many of the SPLM members who remained after the rebellion in 1991 within the SPLM were calling for unity in Sudan,” he further said.

He urged the SPLM members to educate their cadres about the SPLM party before 2013.

Baluang further urged the SPLM to respect history and the people of South Sudan and cease fabricating “unnecessary and unethical accusations” towards the members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in opposition due to the current differences.

He said despite the SPLM-IO members not being in the same camp as President Salva Kiir, they would not deny their contribution to the liberation struggle, saying they expect the same to be done by the members of the SPLM party. “He can have different opinions with whoever, but that will never restrict him from the moral obligations and the moral rights in the struggle of the liberation of South Sudan,” he stated.