The Independent (Kampala)

5 January 2014

Uganda: Text - Minutes of Historical SPLM Meeting in Rumbek 2004

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The rumours implied that I will be arrested at Ramciel where the Chairman was, so I decided not to go. When I received that rumour, I called the security personnel in Yei and discussed the issue in length with them. I also informed them to find out where the sources of the rumours from Nairobi were coming from, which they did.

After I spoke with the Chairman, I also met Cdr. Pieng in Yei for the whole day and he was advising me to join the Chairman in Yirol, which I refused. After that I met Cdr. Kuol Manyang and Cdr. Deng Alor. They came from Nairobi with information that I should go to Nairobi for reconciliation between the two of us. I considered the word reconciliation as something very serious, and therefore decided to tell them that I will not go to Nairobi. The HQs of the Chairman complained that they were calling me and that if I recognized their number, I would switch off the telephone. That is not true; I never received any call from them and switch off my telephone.

I assure you that the allegation that I am against peace is not true. I am really for peace so that the International Community could rescue our suffering people. People of Bahr El Ghazal have suffered too much from repeated famine and from the Arab militias - and for these reasons I am the first to embrace peace to relief them from suffering. Peace efforts such as the Wunlit Peace Conference have up to date ceased hostilities between Western Upper Nile and Bahr El Ghazal; and that is good. So I need peace. There are those who want to create confusion in the Movement and fabricate such things. I don't have personal problem with the Chairman.

If we are National Leaders, which I don't believe we are because we have no cohesion within our leadership structure, let us be sincere with ourselves. After meetings are concluded, we run to foreign countries. There is no code of conduct to guide the Movement's structures. When the Chairman leaves for abroad, no directives are left and no one is left to act on his behalf. I don't know with whom the Movement is left with; or does he carry it in his own brief case?

The Chairman killed the national Executive Council (NEC) by creating the leadership Council. But there is no provision in the Convention for a 'Leadership Council'. Does he want to revive the Political Military High Command? The Leadership Council creates a situation where all are directly reporting to the Chairman - including SPLM County Secretaries. When I mentioned these facts, they should not be construed to be my personal or family problems. Those around the Chairman don't tell him the opinion of the public. The Chairman is everything, from a finance officer to one at the lowest level.

Corruption, as a result of the lack of structures, has created a lack of accountability which has reached a proportion that will be difficult to eradicate.

In fact, there are many outstanding administrative problems that require our attention. These include the infrequent converting of conferences at the leadership level, causing an absence in the SPLA/M chain of command and making others to directly communicate with the Chairman without following the right procedures. This should be corrected. If the responsibility of Governors goes directly to the Chairman, what will be the work of Cdr. Daniel Awet? I hope Cdr. Daniel Awet will address all those things. The Chairman should not make appointments of SPLM County Secretaries; it is the work of the Governors.

The other issue I would like Comrade Chairman to address is how the CANS structures are now operating, e.g., take the absence of the SPLM Regional Secretary for Bahr El Gazal from his area of responsibility while there has been sporadic tribal feuds within the region - and which has resulted into sectional conflict. The Chairman most of the time send Cdr. Deng Alor on foreign missions which were supposed to be the work of Cdr. Nhial Deng.

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