Machar, Amum removed from SPLM
The SPLM Political Bureau on Thursday terminated the membership of first vice president Riek Machar and Pagan Amum from the party, a party official announced.
Machar, who leads the opposition group SPLM-IO, was the first deputy chairman of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) party, while Pagan Amum, a prominent opposition figure in exile, was secretary general of the party.
Both were also members of the SPLM party’s governing body, the National Liberation Council (NLC).
The Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) is the governing party of South Sudan, initially founded as the political wing of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), which fought for South Sudan's independence.
The SPLM fractured into different groups after the civil war erupted in December 2013.
Santo Malek Anei, SPLM Deputy Secretary General for Political Affairs and Mobilization told Radio Tamazuj on Friday that the two men were removed from the party under Article 10 of the SPLM Constitution.
“Article 10 of the SPLM Constitution talks about the loss of membership. So, one of the grounds to lose SPLM membership is once you join a different political party,” Malek said.
According to the SPLM official, joining a different party was sufficient grounds for immediate dismissal from the SPLM.
“Since Dr. Riek decided to form SPLM-IO, he would definitely lose SPLM membership; he is no longer a member of the SPLM. The same thing applies to Pagan Amum. Currently, he is based in the United States and formed what is called Real SPLM,” he explained.
The SPLM factions, in January 2015, signed a reunification agreement in Arusha, Tanzania, under the auspices of the Chama Cha Manpinduzi, Tanzania’s governing party and attempted to reunify SPLM factions through a conflict resolution mechanism.
The 12-page Arusha agreement signed by SPLM led by Salva Kiir, SPLM-IO led by Riek Machar, and SPLM-FDs led by Pagan Amum laid out key steps towards the reunification of the historical party.
Malek said that the Arusha Agreement was implemented, but Riek Machar and Pagan Amum decided to move ahead to form their own political parties.
“The Arusha Agreement has been implemented. Pagan was suspended immediately after the crisis of 2013, but he was reinstated when the SPLM in Arusha agreed to implement the Arusha matrix, so he came back and was reinstated as secretary general. But again, when the final agreement was signed in Addis Ababa, he opted to be in a position where he was not supporting SPLM. He proceeded and went to the US and formed the Real SPLM, abandoning his position,” he said
“Some of the senior members who decided to come back are now part of the government. We have Mama Rebecca Nyandeng, who was with the FDs, we have Deng Alor, Kosti Manibe, and Madut Biar. Taban Deng, who was in SPLM-IO, came back to us, and he was there in the meeting on Thursday,” he concluded.
Both Machar and Pagan could not immediately be reached for comment.