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JUBA - 11 Feb 2024

Juba: 792 SPLM-IO, NCP members defect to SPLM

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) party in Central Equatoria state on Friday received 792 defectors from the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in-Opposition (SPLM-IO) and the National Congress Party (NCP). 

The members who were led by Dabe Francis Elisama, the former SPLAM-IO Chief Whip in the Central Equatoria Legislative Assembly, are mainly from Central and Western Equatoria states respectively.

Prior to rejoining the SPLM party, Elisama resigned from Dr Riek Machar Teny’s SPLM-IO party, citing manipulation of parliamentary rules by the leadership of the state parliament.

Speaking during their official reception at Rock City ground in Juba, Dabe commended the SPLM in Central Equatoria state under the leadership of Governor Adil for accepting them back.

He said their decision to come back to SPLM came after they realized that parties such as SPLM-IO are still believing that “SPLM is the only holy party that can unite the people of South Sudan.”

 “As much as they are in SPLM-IO, they still believe that SPLM is holy. In the SPLM-IO, I was in charge of political orientation, and I handled SPLM books, giving them the indoctrination of the ideology. And Comrade Adil, what makes it funny is that on those books on the cover page, it is written SPLM-IO, and inside it is SPLM. This is what made us say if it is SPLM, let it be SPLM,” he said.

The former SPLM-IO member further called on the SPLM members to consider making the party great again. According to him, it’s not the party that is not good but the people.

For his part, Emmanuel Adil Anthony, the governor of Central Equatoria state, who is also the chairperson of the SPLM party in Central Equatoria state, welcomed the new members and commended them for taking the decision.

Governor Adil called on all members of SPLM in his state to welcome the new members and ensure that the unity of the party is preserved. “My brothers and sisters, I want to say thank you for making this decision to come back. From today onwards, we’re all members of one party,” Adil said.

“I want to say to you, all the members of SPLM in the state, especially in the six counties and administrative payams, that whether you have an ID card or you don’t have one, from today onwards, these are your brothers and sisters, share with them, work together as one family, one party one mission under the leadership of President Salva Kiir Mayardit,” he added.

This event comes as the SPLM party is in preparation to endorse President Salva Kiir Mayardit for the December general elections as stipulated in the 2018 peace agreement. 

President Salva Kiir is expected to face his longstanding rival, First Vice President Riek Machar, who has yet to confirm his candidacy.