sudanviews.net - Northerners in SPLM: Future Dreams and Reality of Sorrows
Sudanese political observers and analysts have noticed that Northerners in Sudan People's Libertarian Movement are no longer calling for Sudan's unity the matter that created wide criticism inside and outside Sudan.
Sudan is passing through a critical and important period as southerners will vote for unity or separation in January 2011 according to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) protocols.
Observers have raised many questions and remarks about the northerners' silence regarding supporting unity issue and what is the Northerners' response to Salva Kiir's remark that he will vote for separation? Observers raise questions about the fate of northerners within SPLM and what they will do if South Sudan chooses secession.
Are they going to return to their old political parties such as the Communist Party or will they abandon political activities and get jobs within the international organisations?
Sudan Vision has asked some senior Sudanese analysts and observers to
comment on that matter:
Mr. Mohamed Ibrahim, professor of strategic studies, political science college of Al Azhari University:
Most of the northerners with Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) have joined the movement at the end of 1980s or at the beginning of 1990s and therefore they are not among the founders of SPLM.
The majority of the northerners in SPLM have lost the confidence in their traditional political parties and most of them have joined SPLM as transitional period rather than believing in the SPLM manifesto and principles.

There are many reasons behind the silence of the northerners within the SPLM such as the cloudy thinking of the movement and the fact that the main principles are not clear. After the introduction of the new international system SPLM turned to be pragmatic and used to work to achieve its interest which it labels the New Sudan. Northerners have no clear role in the early stages of Sudan People's Liberation Movement (1983- 1991).

In addition to that the sudden and tragic death of SPLM leader Dr. John Garang has created a great gap within SPLM and has paved the way for separatists to come to the top of SPLM leadership.
However in the public elections that took place last April SPLM has decided to withdraw northerners from running in elections such as Yassir Arman. The decision has led to putting the separatists on top of the movement.

The decision has forced many northerners to hide in the shade and to stop participating in SPLM activities such as Dr. Mansour Khalid. In addition to that the northerners have suffered the shock after the visit of Salva Kiir to United States and his trends to separation afterwards.
However I do not think that the withdrawal of northerners is connected with getting jobs with the international organisations. SPLM has deep relations with western countries especially after the demise of the Soviet Union in 1990s.
I think northerners within the SPLM are suffering shock symptoms due to the current stances of SPLM leaders who tend to be separatists in the last period. Northerners have preferred to hide in the shade and to resort to silence.