The Sudd Institute (2015). The Return and Reinstatement of Former Political Detainees into the Leadership Ranks of South Sudan’s Ruling SPLM: What is its Worth?
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The recent announcement of the reinstatement of former senior leaders of the ruling party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), who were dismissed by its chairman in 2013 from the party ranks, came as yet another unsurprising and yet questionable action by a party that has been plagued for years by so many troubles of its own making. The return of former political detainees from Kenya to consult with the President of South Sudan, and their planned trip to Pagak in Upper Nile to meet with the leadership of the armed opposition, all with a view to settling the country’s 18-month conflict, have spurred debates in the country. Some citizens and commentators are expressing cautious optimism about the coming of peace, while others are downplaying the political and peace value of these events. This moment was preceded by numerous blunders within the party leadership dating back a decade since the country emerged from a destructive war of liberation from the Sudan, including the dismissal of the party’s Deputy Chairman and the Secretary General, which had come in contravention of its constitution that requires a national convention to elect these offices.