May 30, 2009 § Leave a comment
(Map from BBC)
A dissident political party has spun from the ranks of the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army — the de facto ruling party in autonomous Southern Sudan — which will be under the leadership of former SPLA official Lam Akol. Using all anonymous sources, al-Sharq al-Awsat reports that SPLA dissidents formed the party after grievances with corrupt leadership and administrative failure in Southern Sudan. The source said:
We are a popular party holding principles which we will fight for, but we found that administrative failure and corruption in Southern Sudan under the current leadership of the SPLA called for the formation of a new party to correct matters in the South and to implement a peace process.
The new party is called the Sudanese Popular Movement for Democratic Change and sources claim it will ally itself with Hassan Turabi‘s Popular Conference party. The anonymous source also emphasized that Akol is not the “president” of the party — he is the spiritual, political, and historical leader.
All this takes place in the context of Sudan’s upcoming elections to be held in July.
Al-Sharq al-Awsat is a Saudi-owned, London-based newspaper and I’ve found that its position on Sudan pretty much reflects Saudi’s position, meaning Sudanese President Omar Bashir is a menace to peace and stability and is attempting to sabotage any prospects for legit elections in July. Albeit, this analysis is not too far off, but it’s interesting to contrast al-Sharq al-Awsat’s coverage with outlets like Qatari-owned al-Jazeera which give Bashir ample air-time to make breathy speeches on Arab unity.