Pagan quits SPLM to start new party

Pagan Amum, who formerly served as the ruling SPLM party’s secretary general, has announced that he is quitting to form another political organisation.

Amum, who relinquished his role as leader of the former political detainees last week, made the announcement during a Facebook Live video on Sunday, saying more details about his organisation will be shared soon.

The announcement, not widely expected, was received with mixed reactions from South Sudanese on social media, with some saying it is a good move.

Mr Amum fell out with President Salva Kiir over organisational matters before the conflict erupted in December 2013. The SPLM fractured into different groups after the devastating civil war.

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 which fought for South Sudan independence. 

Amum said he and other like-minded colleagues will begin the process to form a new opposition organization, without elaborating on the matter.

He, however, declined to unveil the name of their political organisation.

“The name of the organisation will be discussed by the founders and they will decide on the name, so I cannot take a decision alone,” he said.

“The SPLM party has collapsed but the SPLM vision will never die. Programs and ideas don’t die, so I am supporting the vision,” he added.  

Amum stated that the new opposition group will be formed based on the SPLM ideology with clear policy positions.

“We will form a political organisation to achieve the same vision of the SPLM. We want to realise the vision that was betrayed by President Kiir. The new organisation will return to the SPLM vision,” he explained.

The new political organisation, he said, will work closely with the existing opposition movements in order to challenge President Salva Kiir.

The opposition official says he believes that the country’s leader Salva Kiir is not genuine to make peace. He stressed that it is crucial to introduce reforms in South Sudan, arguing that the current situation is dangerous for affirming the diversity of its population.

“We want a federal state which is democratic. We want our people to govern themselves by bringing power closer to them so that they achieve development,” he said.

Pagan Amum rebelled against the Sudanese government in 1982. His group joined with other rebel groups in 1983 to form the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) under the leadership of the late Dr John Garang.

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