The Manifesto of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement

The Manifesto of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement

Table of Contents
I. The Problem in its Historical Context 4
I.1 Definition of the Problem 4
The Ills of the Old Sudan 6
II. The Rise and Evolution of the SPLM 9
II.1 SPLM: Origins 9
II.2 The SPLM: Departure from the 10
Thinking Paradigm of “Old Sudan”
II.3 SPLM: Overcoming Challenges and 11
Contradictions of the Struggle
III. Vision of the SPLM 14
III.1 Articulation of the Vision 14
III.2 Normative Framework of the Vision 15
IV. The New Sudan: Polity, Culture and Society, and Economy 17
Prosperity for All 17
Freedom, Justice and Peace 17
Democratic Governance 18
Rule of Law and Human Rights 20
Democratic Management of Diversity 20
Equitable Growth and Sustainable Development 21
New Sudan in a Globalized World 223
The first SPLM Manifesto was published in July 1983 following the formation of the SPLM/A to
lead a revolutionary armed struggle, which started by necessity in the South. It aimed at
engulfing the whole country to establish a “united, democratic and secular Sudan”. A lot of
waters have gone under the bridge since then in the course of the struggle towards the realization
of this lofty objective The Movement has, thus, encountered a number of challenges, emanating
from changes in the national, regional and international situation, as well as internal
contradictions in the course of the struggle since its inception in 1983. It is the Vision of the New
Sudan that has informed the Movement’s political and military developments in the country, and
to rearticulate the principles, redefine objectives and chart the development trajectory of the
SPLM/A and the Sudanese revolution, in response to the changing political realities both
internally and externally.
The New Sudan Vision is not by any means a dogma, nor is it a doctrine or ideology! While the
vision of the New Sudan has guided and informed the liberation struggle, the vision itself has
become more sharpened and enriched by the unfolding developments and events in the process.
It has guided the struggle of the Movement since its inception in 1983 against all forms of
governments in Khartoum and informed its alliance with the rest of the political forces in the
country, as well as its foreign relations. The correctness of the vision has since been vindicated
by the unfolding developments in the country, notably; the outbreak of war in Eastern Sudan and
intensification of war in Darfur, and frictions in the far north. On the other hand, as the Old
Sudan undergoes fundamental change in its transition into the New Sudan, the SPLM itself is
bound to evolve and undergo fundamental change as well. So, while its basic content has
remained the same, the Movement has undergone a process of metamorphosis over the years.
It is within the intricate set of complexities of the transition from war to peace (following the
Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005), and from authoritarianism to democratic polity,
including the challenges of transforming the SPLM into a fully-fledged political party, that this
present Manifesto of the SPLM, which is different from the first versions in many ways, but
echoes the same basic ideas, has been prepared for, and approved by the Second SPLM National
Convention in May 2008.
This version of the Manifesto, therefore, espouses and presents the main SPLM ideals, concepts,
principles and core values that would guide and inform the development of the Movement’s
programs, strategies, policies, and tactics in the various spheres. In a nutshell, the SPLM
Manifesto is essentially a synthesis of the Movement’s New Sudan Vision. 4
I. The Problem of the Sudan in its Historical Context
I.1 Definition of the Problem
I.1.1 The central problem of the Sudan is that its reality, both in terms of its historical
perspective and its contemporary context, conflicts fundamentally with the policies of the
various governments that have come and gone in Khartoum since independence in 1956. These
policies have been pursued with impunity and almost complete disregard of the country’s rich
I.1.2 Indeed, the history of human settlements in the Sudan is old. Thus, no book of significance
from antiquity has neglected to mention us, and the richness of our civilizations. Historical studies
provide evidence for the existence of significant early Stone Age groups in the Nile Valley. Such
evidence indicates that human beings lived in the Sudan as far back as 250.000 B.C. and that their
cultures flourished around 50,000 B.C. The civilizations of Kush, the early Christian Nubian
Kingdoms, and medieval Kingdoms have appeared and disappeared on the soil of our great land, the
SUDAN. Further up the corridors of history, the expansion of Islam and the movement of the
peoples of the Arabian peninsular into the northern part of Africa and the Sudan led to the
establishment of various Islamic kingdoms such as the powerful Funj Sultanate, which sprung up
around 1500.The rise of the Sultanate brought about the demise of the last Christian kingdoms of
Nubia. There were also the strong Sultanates and Kingdoms of Darfur that emerged at different
times and which were not incorporated into the modern Sudan until 1916. As for the TurkoEgyptian rule in Sudan, this lasted from 1820 to 1885, and was supplanted by the Mahdist state
(1885-1898), which was in turn unseated by the Anglo-Egyptian condominium (1898-1956).This
came to an end when the present ‘independent’ Sudanese state came into being in 1956.
I.1.3 The history of Sudan did not begin with the rise of Islamic Fundamentalism (epitomized
by the National Islamic Front’s assumption of power in 1989), as some propagandists would like
us to believe. As narrated above, various peoples have moved and lived in the present
geographical Sudan at various times, and Kingdoms and civilizations in various forms have risen
and fallen on in our country. This historical motion characterizes the present Sudan and
contributes to its culture and identity. This diverse historical character of the Sudan is the essence
of Sudan’s “historical diversity”.
I.1.4 The Sudan is, thus, an unfinished product of a long and complex historical process. Our
country has undergone a continuous process of metamorphosis and mutation throughout history -
changing identity, from time to time in accordance with the inter-play and the dynamics of power
among the socio-political and socio-historical forces at play in any given period. Thus, the Sudan 5
has evolved into an ethnically, culturally, religiously, linguistically, as well as socially, politically,
economically and geographically, diverse mixture. This is so evident that, in fact, many observers
have been inclined to see it as a “microcosm” of Africa, typifying many of the central characteristics
of Africa as a whole. The Sudan has been and is still an ethnically and culturally diverse society.
The country has over 500 different ethnic groups, speaking 130 distinct languages. According to
the 1956 census, those whose mother tongue is not Arabic, but one of the African languages of
the country, constituted 69% of the population, while Sudanese who spoke Arabic as a mother
tongue were 31%. Religion is the other component of Sudan’s contemporary diversity, as the
Sudanese consist of Moslems (about 65% of the total population) and Christians and those who
believe in their ancestral African religions, both of which constitute the remaining 35% of the
population. This essentially marks Sudan’s “contemporary diversity”.
I.1.5 Hence, the Sudanese reality consists of these two diversities, the historical and
contemporary. Yet this reality has been ignored, swept aside, by all the governments that have
come and gone in Khartoum since independence in 1956. These governments have failed to
evolve a Sudanese identity, a Sudanese commonality, a Sudanese commonwealth, thatembraces
all Sudanese, and to which all Sudanese pledge undivided loyalty irrespective of their religion,
race, or tribe. Instead, all the governments of post-colonial Sudan have emphasized only two
parameters of our reality — Arabism and Islam – and attempted, and continued to attempt to
impose an identity, based on these two elements, on all Sudanese, only to be confronted with
rebellions and wars. Thus, the ‘Old Sudan’ has been characterized by racism and religious bigotry
as the main parameters governing national politics, economic opportunities and social
interaction. It is this system of injustices that led to two bitter wars between the south and the
center. It is this system of injustice that led to devastating civil wars between this same
marginalizing center and the west and east. .
I.1.6 The central problem of the Sudan, therefore, is that the post 1956 Sudanese state is
essentially an artificial state, based on a political system and an institutional framework of ethnic
and religious chauvinism, and “after 1989” on Islamic Fundamentalism. It is a state that excludes
the vast majority of its citizens. The African Sudanese have been excluded from the center of
power and wealth since 1956, and after 1989 (following the coup of the National Islamic Front)
the system further excluded non-fundamentalist Muslims, while women have always been
excluded at all times. The Islamic Fundamentalist regime is the culmination of the policies of the
Khartoum-based governments that have come and gone since independence. Thus, in 1989 the
Old Sudan split into two, the ‘Islamic Fundamentalist-Sudan’ and the original ‘Old Sudan’. The
Islamic Fundamentalist Sudan is essentially a fascist mutation of the Old Sudan. It is the ugliest
face of the Old Sudan. Both the Old Sudan and Islamic Fundamentalist -Sudan rest on an
institutionalized system of injustices based on racial and religious chauvinism, a fact that has led6
some commentators to observe that the Sudanese situation is characterized by a system of
‘Double Apartheid’, racial and religious.
I.2 The Ills of the Old Sudan
The two basic problems of the ‘Old Sudan’, are;
a) The failure of the successive ruling regimes in Khartoum to evolve a viable national
governance framework and a correct democratic process of nation-building based on
Sudan’s multiple diversities, and
b) The failure of these regimes to work out a sound economic program to solve the
problems of economic underdevelopment and inequitable development.
The ills of this overall governance crisis of the “old Sudan” are manifested in:
I.2.1 One major problem of the Old Sudan is that it has been looking and is still looking for its
soul and spirit, and for its true identity. We are an Arab country and we are an African country.
Are we Arabs or Africans? Are we African-Arab? What are we? Are we a hybrid? On the
external front, this distorted self-image has translated in foreign policy relations that have
always, though in varying degrees, isolated the country from its prospective regional friends and
from the world at large.
I.2.2 The unviable unity of the old Sudan – which is rooted in the economic, political and
cultural hegemony of particular groupings that exclude other groups basic to the formation of the
Sudanese society and deny them the chance for effective participation in political power, and the
expression of their “national” and cultural identities, and receiving an equitable share in national
wealth – cannot possibly survive in the context of an uneven development paradigm. The Old
Sudan restricted unity of the country to selective parameters and elements (Arabism and Islam)
from the totality of the components that make up Sudan’s historical and contemporary diversity,
and neglected and overlooked other key ingredients. First, unity, premised on these partial
components and with all the attendant political, economic and social implications, will always be
fragile and unsustainable. Second, insistence and persistence on identifying one religion with the
state, and thereby establishing a theocratic state has led, and will only lead, to serious rifts in the
fabric of the Sudanese society and the eventual disintegration of the country. For not only are all
Sudanese not Muslims, but even among Muslims themselves there is no consensus on the Sharia
I.2.3 Concentration and centralization of power: a) power has been a monopoly of a few in
Khartoum, irrespective of the guise they assume (leaders of political parties, members of family 7
dynasties, Imams of religious sects or army officers). Representation of southerners and other
marginalized groups in the central governments has always been symbolic and without their
participation in the government formation process. They were invited to join “national”
governments as hangers-on and not equal stakeholders, and b) power has been centralized in
Khartoum without meaningful devolution to the regions, even when a “federal” system was
I.2.4 A “vicious circle” of change in government, whereby authoritarian military regimes and
“intervals” of pluralistic parliamentary systems follow on the heels of each other, with the
military seizing power for 80% of the time since independence, entrenched itself. Democracy, as
practiced in the Old Sudan, was a sham procedural democracy that was a camouflage for the
perpetuation of vested interests. In that sham democracy civil rights were subject to the whims of
rulers. The majority of Sudan’s regions remained peripheral to the central power and were
treated as expendable appendages only to be manipulated through political trickery and doubledealing. This political instability is mainly due to the undemocratic nature of the ruling parties
and the failure of the parliamentary system in striking the correct balance between political
democracy and the economic and cultural democracy.
I.2.5 Women have remained the “marginalized of the marginalized” whose suffering defies
description, and whose political rights of equality with men are largely unrecognized. Women in
the Old Sudan are subjected to triple oppression based on ethnicity, socio-economic status and
their gender. Patriarchal oppression is embedded in the economic, social, religious, cultural,
family and other relations in all Sudanese communities.
I.2.6 Misguided foreign policy was, to a large measure, informed by the ideological
predilections of ruling or politically active groups (Arab nationalists, communists and, of late,
Islamists). As a result, national interest was identified with a Sudan writ–small: an exclusively
Arabic, Islamic or politically aligned state. The national interest of the Sudan writ – large was,
thus, subsumed in broader external agendas without due regard to genuine national interest.
I.2.7 Uneven and unequal development hast resulted in the irrational use of the country’s vast
resources and various forms of marginalization (both on ethnic and class bases), including the
marginalization of women, impoverishment, deprivation and unequal distribution of wealth and
the fruits of growth to regions and peoples of Sudan. This in addition to a skewed pattern of
access to and distribution of the basic social services to the disadvantage of the poor and
marginalized, both in rural areas and the major urban centers.
I.2.8 Serious environmental implications have resulted from the pursuit of this development
paradigm and have rendered that development unsustainable. The wanton use of natural 8
resources poses a serious threat to the natural environment, especially in rural areas, in a manner
that may lead to the total collapse of the rural economy. Besides, the degeneration of the
environment is behind conflicts on marginal grazing lands all over Sudan, and especially in the
Southern and Western parts of the country. And as if the untold suffering and human losses were
not enough, war also had its toll on the environment: destruction of wildlife, protected areas and
endangered species. Petroleum exploration, despite the economic benefits it generated, also came
with its own environmental problems: pollution of land and water, removal of forests, oil spills
on fragile lands. So did the haphazard urbanization in the main cities, particularly, the national
Capital leading to an overload on existing amenities and unresolved problems of waste
management. 9
II. The Rise and Evolution of the SPLM
II.1 The SPLM Origins
II.1.1 The formation of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) is a
continuation of the past struggles of the Sudanese people, before, during and after colonialism. The
rise of the SPLM/A in 1983 was a translation and a continuation of the longstanding political
discontent into an armed conflict. The resort of the SPLM/A to armed struggle was informed by the
earlier armed struggles against repression, and represented a continuation of them after they had
been temporarily halted by colonialism and later by the Addis Ababa Agreement, which stopped the
civil war in southern Sudan for a short while (1972-1983).
II.1.2 Resistance has been the natural reaction of the oppressed and marginalized peoples of the
Sudan against the various Khartoum-based governments. The resistance took different forms
according to the prevailing circumstances. In the cities and urban centers it took the form of
popular uprisings (1964 and 1985), while in the marginalized areas, especially of Southern
Sudan, Southern Kordofan and Southern Blue Nile, the resistance took the form of popular and
patriotic armed struggle (1955-1973 and 1983-2005). The birth and formation of the SPLM/A in
1983 was, therefore, not an isolated incident, but rather a culmination and continuation of these
struggles of the Sudanese people.
II.1.3 However, in reaction to Nimeiri’s machinations and consistent attempts at unilaterally
dismantling the Addis Ababa Accord, the Akobo mutiny (1975) inevitably followed. Elements
of this mutiny combined with some of the dismissed ex-Anya-nya I soldiers and officers to
form what became known as Anya-nya 11 in Upper Nile. Later on, and mainly in 1982, armed
resistance, under the same name but with a different command sprang up in Bahr el Ghazal.
Furthermore, prominent Anya-nya officers, who were absorbed in the Sudanese army, continued
to organize within that army in order to transform the situation, by either attacking and capturing
Juba or withdrawing to the bushes to wage a protracted armed struggle. But Khartoum seized the
initiative and attacked Bor and Pibor garrison on 16/5/1983. Later the Ayod garrison attacked
Khartoum forces that were sent to arrest its ex-Anya-nya commander. This was the spark that lit
the tinderbox.
II.1.4 Simultaneously, with the military moves, prominent Southern politicians and students
organized several underground organizations to mobilize the masses against the dismantling of
the agreement. These opposition bodies included the National Action Movement (NAM),
Movement for Total Liberation of Southern Sudan (MTLSS), Juwama African People’s 10
Organization (JAPO); Council for the Unity of Southern Sudan (CUSS) and South Sudan
Liberation Front (SSLF), which actually started a guerrilla war in 1982 and came into the
limelight in July 1983 when it seized a number of foreigners in Boma post.
II.1.5 Bу early 1983 the necessary conditions had combined for a revolutionary situation. The
battles of Bor (commanded by Major Kerubino Kwanyin Bol), Pibor (commanded by
Captain Riek Macuoc) and Ayod (commanded by Major William Nyoun Bany) caused
desertions in other units of Southern command and Northern Sudan. This drove students and
other civilians en masse to join the armed struggle, which resulted in the exodus of refugees into
neighboring countries, especially Ethiopia.
II.1.6 Elements of the political and military organizations and officers referred to earlier united and
founded the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the SudanPeople’s Liberation movement
(SPLМ). Although the SРLМ emerged to continue the armed struggle waged by earlier
movements, it saw the resolution of Sudan’s crisis differently from the way they did. SPLM believes
that Sudan’s salvation lies in the solution of both the “national groups” and religious questions within
the context of a united, democratic and secular Sudan. Thus, although the SPLM started by
necessity in the South, it essentially aims at spreading its message all over the Sudan, thus transform
the whole country.
II.2 The SPLM: Departure from the Thinking Paradigm of “Old Sudan”
II.2.1 It dawned on the SPLM leadership that marginalization in all its forms, discrimination,
injustice and subordination, constitute the root causes of the conflict that cannot be addressed in
a piecemeal fashion through dishing out handouts and concessions to the disgruntled and
rebellious groups whenever a conflict erupted in a particular region. Sudanese have problems
everywhere in the west, in the east, in the center, and even in the far north. The later outbreak of
the armed conflicts and wars in eastern and western Sudan has vindicated the correctness and
farsightedness of this analysis and vision. Defining the problem as the “southern problem” is in
itself an attempt at marginalizing southerners. It is not the “problem of the South”, as
conventionally advocated by the successive ruling regimes in Khartoum, but rather the “problem
of the Sudan”, particularized in the South. In contradistinction from the previous secessionist
movements, the SPLM advocated the liberation of the whole Sudan and not only south Sudan.
II.2.2 This shift of paradigm also marks a radical departure from the traditional struggle in the
South for independence. This is what it has always been since 1955 when the Anya-Nya war
started. The avowed objective was the independence of the South. This objective was not
achieved; it was compromised in 1972, in the Addis Ababa agreement, when Southern Sudan
was “given” local autonomy. The SPLM moved away from this paradigm of the “southern 11
problem”, solving the “southern problem” and what to “give” to southerners. When you are
defined as the others, as something different, through reference to the “southern problem”, for
instance, that is in itself a problem i.e. the people who have a problem are the Southerners, but
this is not true. It is the Sudanese state, epitomized by the power structure in the Center, which
needs to be radically restructured in order to accommodate the Sudan’s manifold diversity and
attend to all forms of exclusion and marginalization of its people, be they in the South or in any
other marginalized region. The fish rots from the head and not from the tail!
II.3 SPLM: Overcoming Challenges and Contradictions of the Struggle
II.3.1 The SPLM’s grand objective of bringing about radical and fundamental change in the
Sudan as a whole was not a dream, but an objective that was premised on the victories and
setbacks of the Sudanese people and on the correct and visionary definition of the central
problem of the Sudan. Since its inception, the SPLM critically and objectively analyzed the
Sudanese reality and concluded that we must struggle for a new type of Sudan to which we all
belong; a united Sudan, albeit on new bases; a new Sudan political dispensation that is anchored
in and based on the realities of the Sudan, on both our historical and contemporary diversities.
We call this new political dispensation the New Sudan, as opposed to the Old Sudan, which has
cost us 42 years of war since independence.
II.3.2 On the other hand, however, this does not mean that there are no skeptics within the ranks
of the Movement, so far as the New Sudan vision is concerned. There are, and have always been,
differences. In fact, disagreements have occurred, degenerating into violent confrontations at
various historical junctures in the evolution of the SPLM/A. Thus, the vision of the New Sudan,
and the adoption of objectives and programs consistent with it, had its share of difficulties and
troubles in the early days of the Movement. Some leaders of the SPLM and some Anya-Nya
Commanders decided to leave the Movement because they wanted to fight for an independent
Southern Sudan and not for a New Sudan. However, instead of fighting the Sudan government in
order to achieve the objective of independence, they allied themselves with the same government
and fought the incipient SPLM/A for four years. It is true that the phenomenon of divisions and
splits is normal given the diversity of vision and political thinking in any national liberation
movement. What is unfathomable, however, is the collaboration with the enemy of the people.
The lesson to draw from this experience is that the self-professed separatists should not be
allowed to shout empty slogans about separation, thus, misinforming our people. They should
concretely explain to the people how they plan to achieve the objective of separation. The SPLM
emerged victorious and continued to grow in might and morale, and the SPLA firmly established
itself as an indisputable decisive political and military force in the Sudanese political arena.12
II.3.3 The advent of the 1990s witnessed the collapse of the Eastern Block countries, and the
end of the Cold War, and this marked a world transition from one historical era to a new one. At
the same time, many profound changes occurred in the East Africa region. Notably these were:
the collapse of the government of Mengistu Haile Mariam in Ethiopia; the emergence of Eritrea
as an independent state; and the disintegration of Somalia. The cumulative effects of all these
regional and international events, especially the loss of support from Mengistu’s Ethiopia,
accompanied by an opportunistic attempt by the NIF regime and other foreign circles to destroy
the SPLM/A in 1991, led some to believe, wrongly, that the Movement had been weakened by
the loss of the Ethiopian support, and this in turn led to the split of the SPLM/A in August 28,
II.3.4 The split caused the people of the Sudan, especially in the south, incalculable harm and
suffering and retarded the march of the SPLM to victory. It divided the Movement at a time of
regional and international turmoil when unity was needed most, as well as dividing the people
along tribal lines, inciting southerners against each other, resulting in the death of untold
numbers of innocent civilians. On the other hand, the NIF effectively used the split, both militarily
and politically, in its war against the SPLM/A. Besides, the 1991 episode led many Northerners to
wonder whether the SPLM/A was abandoning its long-held objective of the New Sudan, while
Southerners started to have doubts about SPLM strategy and fears as to whether the Movement
really had their interests at heart. This confusion and fear were sufficiently addressed through open
debate and subsequent resolutions during the First SPLM/A National Convention.
II.3.5 The SPLM\A convened its first National Convention in the period between 2-12 April
1994 with the objective of debating all issues of concern to the movement and its future
direction, especially in the aftermath of the split of 1991. The Convention correctly addressed the
issue of Self-determination as a people’s right that does not contradict the SPLM objective of a
united democratic New Sudan, but on the contrary enhances it. Indeed, correctly perceived, the New
Sudan can only be achieved through the mechanism of self-determination i.e. through the free will
of the Sudanese people.
II.3.6 The ensuing debate during the Convention, therefore, reaffirmed the fact that the
realization of the vision of the New Sudan, brought about either through a combination of armed
struggle and urban popular uprisings or a politically negotiated settlement, is the key for the
attainment of freedom, equality and justice for the Sudanese people. We can only achieve our
aim, whether this is the New Sudan, self-determination, or separation, only if power is radically
restructured in the center, in Khartoum. It is unthinkable that the regime will voluntarily
relinquish power or be forced by international pressures to grant separation on a silver plate! It
was, thus, decided in unequivocal terms that the establishment of the New Sudan and the 13
achievement of the right to, and exercise of, self-determination are the two principal objectives
of the Movement.
II.3.7 Those who are skeptical about the New Sudan vision are not confined to the SPLM
membership. There are those, particularly in Northern Sudan, who condemned out rightly the
vision merely because it came from a source unfamiliar to their minds and hearts. Most
importantly, there are forces that benefited, and continue to benefit, from the Old Sudan. They
are well aware that the New Sudan is a threat to their interests, be they in power or the
opposition. These forces are, thus, bent on propagating a distorted image of both the Vision and
the SPLM, thus misleading and frightening away their respective constituencies by insisting that
the New Sudan is a mere euphemism for an African, Christian, anti-Arab and Islamic entity,
which, in collaboration with Zionism, is intent on doing away with the Arab-Islamic identity of
the Sudanese (the North, in particular). Such unfounded suspicions, fueled by racism and
religious bigotry, have been adequately responded to elsewhere and would not stand the test of
time. Contrary to what the critics and skeptics think, the concept of the New Sudan has no racial,
ethnic or separatist connotations. It is rather a framework, a national project, for building a true
and sustainable Citizenship-State capable of accommodating the multiple diversities of Sudanese
society. Above all, the concept is an intellectual and scholarly contribution to the unfolding
political discourse on the rebuilding of the Sudanese State.14
III. Vision of the SPLM
III.1 Articulation of the Vision
III.1.1 The vision of the SPLM is therefore that of the New Sudan. This vision is consistent with
how nations are formed. The Sudan is no exception. In the Sudan people have moved in time and
space and have become part of the Sudanese nation, and the character and identity of this nation
must be based on its reality, on its historical and contemporary diversity, not on misconceptions
or distorted designs of anybody who grabs power in Khartoum.
III.1.2 Without a sincere appreciation of these realities, phrases like ‘nation building’ and
‘national unity’ become empty slogans. Indeed, the concept and reality of the state or nation-state
becomes fractured and degenerates into a mechanism for enabling some of the most notorious
and unprincipled members of the local elite and power seekers, masquerading as nationalists, to
seize and retain political power, and then proceed to pillage and render the people of their socalled nation-state destitute.
III.1.3 Voluntary unity in the New Sudan is, therefore, conditioned on creating a political and
socio-economic commonality that brings all the Sudanese together as equal citizens in rights and
obligations. We must clearly move away from the parameters of the Old Sudan of racism,
religious intolerance, historical myopia, and the associated economic collapse, instability and
wars. The Old Sudan has clearly taken us to a dead end, to the edge of the abyss.
III.1.4 There are two, and only two, choices: either the country breaks up into several
independent states, or we agree to establish the New Sudan, a new Sudanese socio-political
entity to which we pledge our undivided loyalty and allegiance irrespective of race, tribe,
religion, or gender; a new Sudanese commonality that seeks to include rather than exclude; a
new Sudanese political dispensation that provides equal opportunities for every Sudanese to
develop and realize his or her potential; a Sudan where there is justice and equality of
opportunity for all; a democratic Sudan in which governance is based on popular will and the
rule of law; a New Sudan where religion and state are constitutionally separated; a New Sudan in
which oppression and hegemony by any particular ethnic group are banished; a Sudan in which
all the institutions of social, cultural and racial hegemony and discrimination are dismantled; a
Sudan in which there is respect for universal human rights.
III.1.5 The New Sudan is not the antithesis of the Old Sudan nor does the vision imply the
complete destruction of the Old Sudan and building the New Sudan on its ashes. The
construction of the New Sudan is, rather, a “transformative” process for fundamental socio-15
economic change and political restructuring that would build on all the positive elements of the
Old Sudan, informed by all our historical and contemporary experiences and cognizant of, and
equipped for, the enormous challenges of the 21
century. It is the responsibility of the SPLM
and other forces of change, particularly in the North, to utilize the most refined and positive
components of their respective experiences in their effort to lead the transformation process into
the New Sudan.
III.1.6 The national crisis that has been afflicting the Sudan since independence is essentially a
crisis of leadership reflected in the social nature of the successive ruling elites, namely; their
narrow social base, constricted intellectual outlook, backward political values, poor imagination,
isolation from the people, and disdain of the humanist ideals. Thus, these elites have failed in
developing the country and resorted to express their parochial interests by adopting divisive
policies and using state power in promoting and defending Arabism and Islam, which resulted in
a crisis of identity and exacerbated the crisis of nation-building. This crisis of identity is
manifested in the inability of the Sudanese to reconcile themselves with the cultural and ethnic
realities that make of them a nation.
III.1.7 The vision of the New Sudan, thus, is essentially a national framework, a socio-economic
and political commonality, anchored in and accommodative of the country’s multiple diversities.
The essence of the vision is the equitable management of diversity and respect for the identities
and cultures of all “national” groups. Though the Sudan constitutes the base and focus of the
vision, the context could apply globally to countries and regions torn apart by racial, ethnic,
religious and cultural diversity and disparity. As is the case in Africa, the majority of the
continent’s “nation states” are mosaics of multifarious nationalities and cultures. The unity of
those states hinges on the recognition of, and respect for, their multiple diversities and
presupposes pulling together the common strands that unite while eschewing factors that divide.
III.2 Normative Framework of the Vision
III.2.1 The crisis does not lie in the mere definition of the Sudanese identity, but rather in the
implications of the distorted self-perception of the ruling elites in the center, in terms of
participation in the shaping and sharing of power, access to wealth, resources, services,
employment and development opportunities.
III.2.2 Corrective measures are therefore required to promote an inclusive sense of belonging on
the part of all Sudanese as citizens who enjoy all the rights of citizenship on equal footing.16
III.2.3 While identities cannot be legislated and radically transformed overnight, a constitutional
and legal framework of equality can be enshrined with immediate effect and could, over time,
allow an inclusive national identity to evolve.
III.2.4 The normative framework of the stipulated New Sudan emanates from the correction of
the ills of the Old Sudan as outlined above. It presupposes a united, democratic and secular
Sudan, a constitutionally, economically and culturally reconstructed Sudan. The founding
notions of the Vision for the polity, society, culture and economy of the New Sudan are:
 Evolving a Sudanese Identity reflective of the Sudan’s multi-ethnic and multicultural character.
 Building unity of the country on the totality of the components that make up
Sudan’s historical and contemporary diversities, and separating religion from the
 Restructuring of power in the center and decentralization of power by redefining
the relationship between Khartoum and the regions and devolving more powers to
the regions.
 Fostering democratic governance in which equality, freedom, economic and social
justice and respect for human rights are not mere slogans but concrete realities.
 Promoting environmentally and even sustainable development.17
IV. The New Sudan: Polity, Culture and Society, and Economy
IV.1 Guided and informed by the Vision of the New Sudan and using all legitimate peaceful
means at its disposal, the SPLM shall continue its struggle to build a new socio-political order
that is based on total commitment to the Bill of Rights, decentralized governance, political
pluralism, respect of the edicts on human and people’s rights established by international covenants
and an economic system that affords the individual an atmosphere and opportunities conducive to
self–realization. That system should also equip marginalized regions to overcome uneven
development and create an environment for the healthy growth of the private sector. Human dignity
and respect for the individual and the family must be asserted as the essential foundation of the
New Sudan. All individuals have a right to freedom, prosperity, and security. The state is no
more than a tool to attain these goals.
Prosperity for All
IV.2 We aim to establish a society of equal opportunities based on the principles of social
justice and social solidarity of the strong and weak. In other words, as well as the release of
private initiative, a robust system of social support is a crucial condition for the existence of a
free society in the New Sudan. A free society can only be created in a stable political system that
rules out all abuse and presupposes the state’s active role in maintaining economic order in order
to achieve prosperity for everybody. The state must regulate the free market to attain social
objectives, and not try to coerce it to realize such goals. The market is not an aim in itself, but
rather a means of securing freedom and sufficiency for all citizens of the New Sudan.
Freedom, Justice, and Equality
IV.3 In the New Sudan, freedom of the people is paramount and sacrosanct. It has the same
absolute value as human life. The people of Sudan, particularly in the marginalized areas of the
country, have suffered enough for their right to freedom. Only a free New Sudan can assure the
prosperity and security of its citizens and enable the country to develop dynamically in the 21
century. Freedom cannot survive in a society that does not strive for justice. Such a society is
doomed to division between those whose freedom is backed by material wealth and those whose
freedom implies merely a state of devastating poverty. Such a division may result either in social
upheavals or a dictatorship of the privileged minority. Justice demands that we strive not only for
equal rights for citizens, but also for equal opportunities so that the individual can realize his/her
worth. Justice should also guarantee a worthy existence for the less fortunate.18
IV.4 Equality of rights cannot be meaningful without political, economic and social
empowerment of women, eventually leading to gender equality in the executive, legislative,
judicial and other domains of society and polity. This, in turn, calls for the elimination, through
legislation, of all manifestations and consequences of patriarchy- from the feminization of
poverty, physical and psychological abuse, undermining of self-confidence, to open and hidden
forms of exclusion from positions of authority and power. Critical in this regard is the creation of
the material and cultural conditions that would allow the abilities of women to flourish and
enrich the life of the nation. This would entail transforming customary law and social practices
that deny women and children their human rights.
IV.5 Affirmative action in favor of women shall continue and will only decline in the same
measure as all centers of power and influence and other critical spheres in social endeavor
become broadly representative of the country’s demographics. In the process, all inequalities that
may persist or arise will need to be addressed.
IV.6 Youth: a nation’s success depends on its ability to encourage, harness and incorporate
into its endeavours the creativity, daring and energy of youth. This relates to such issues as
access to social and economic opportunities, engendering activism around issues of development
and values of community solidarity and creating the space for the creativity of youth to flourish.
IV.7 Children and the Elderly: the New Sudan society should ensure the protection and
continuous advancement of children and the elderly as the most vulnerable in society.
IV.8 People with special needs: such is the challenge also with regard to the need to address
the problems of the people with disability- not merely as a matter of social welfare; but rather
should be based on the recognition of the right of each individual to dignity and development and
of the contribution that each can make to the collective good.
Democratic Governance
IV.9 Democracy is vital and an imperative for the New Sudan. The democratic course in the
New Sudan is, therefore, based on a revision of the sham procedural democracy of the past. The
transformation of Sudan envisaged by the SPLM, thus, represents a political and socioeconomic
paradigm shift from hegemony in all its forms to the recognition of Sudan’s political, cultural
and social diversity, within a framework of a vibrant multi-party democracy with a meaningful
Bill of Rights that recognizes and upholds natural as well as political, socio-economic, cultural
and environmental rights and obligations. That democracy shall also ensure peaceful transfer of
power and separation of powers among the executive, judicial and legislative organs of the state.
Beyond the formal processes of regular elections and legislatures, various forms of legalized and 19
other forums to ensure popular participation shall be initiated and encouraged. Equally, the
democracy engendered by this transformation shall be permeated with a social content which
includes: awareness of, an attention to, the needs of poor and economically disadvantaged
individuals and groups, primarily with respect to health care, education, employment and social
safety nets
IV.10 A decentralized system of governance that would bring power closer to the people, and is
characterized by popular participation, transparency, accountability, responsiveness, consensusseeking orientation, fairness, effectiveness and abidance by the rule of law, so that the people of
New Sudan are provided with the necessary conducive environment for accelerated socioeconomic development and increased happiness.
IV.11 This system of governance will be premised on a) restructuring of the power of the
central government in a manner that would take into account the interests of all the Sudanese,
especially those of marginalized regions, and the impoverished socio-economic groups, and b) a
decentralized power structure by redefining the relation between Khartoum and the regions with
a view to devolving more federal powers to the regions and, where and when necessary, full
autonomy. That form of regionalism should enable the masses, not the regional elites, to exercise
real power in the fields of economic and social development and the promotion of their
respective cultures. Devolution of power shall be incomplete if it does not equally empower local
governments to fully exercise the powers entrusted to them by the Constitution and the law
without obstruction from any center of power in the states.
IV.12 Good governance, where the exercise of political, economic and administrative authority
in the management of the country’s affairs at all levels shall be people-based, so that individuals
and groups have an effective say in the allocation and management of resources and in decisions
that affect their lives.
IV.13 The fight against corruption constitutes one of the key pillars of good governance; hence
it shall be waged with ever increasing rigor.
IV.14 The foreign policy of the New Sudan will be primarily guided by the nature of its
domestic policies and the supreme interests of the Sudanese people. We shall strive to live
collectively with the world and contribute to peace and well-being and progress of humanity. We
will do this through; respecting international law, fostering human rights in international and
regional fora, participating actively in, and cooperating fully with international and regional
organizations, building strong relations with African countries, particularly in the Horn of Africa
and the Great Lakes Region, promoting regional African and Arab economic integration
on the basis of consensual plans not ideological bias or political alignment, enhancement of 20
economic cooperation among countries of the South, observing good neighborliness, and
fostering human rights. It shall cooperate with all countries and international and regional
organizations in combating international and transnational crime and terrorism, consolidating
international peace, and actively partaking in regional and international endeavors for the
protection and conservation of the global environment.
Rule of Law and Human Rights
IV.15 In the New Sudan, people’s freedom is sacrosanct and their rights inalienable. The
sovereignty and legitimacy of the Sudanese state shall be vested in the people and exercised by
their free will in open free and fair elections and informed by the principles of justice, liberty and
equality. The Rule of Law shall be supreme and must be upheld by governors and the governed
IV.16 Human rights and peoples’ rights will be firmly embedded in the constitution of the New
Sudan. All persons are equal before or under the law in the spheres of political, economic, social
and cultural life, and in every other respect, and shall enjoy equal protection of the law.
Democratic Management of Diversity
IV.17 For Sudan to be voluntarily united in diversity rather than divided by diversity, the
constitutional and institutional arrangements, programs and policies of the New Sudan should be
reflective of both the historical and contemporary realities of the country.
IV.18 The New Sudan belongs equally to all the peoples that now inhabit the country. Its
history, its diversity and richness are the common heritage of all Sudanese. The process of
national formation presupposes deep introspection into Sudan’s history as well as drawing from
the experiences of other countries in order to form a unique Sudanese nation that does not have
to take refuge elsewhere.
IV.19 Religion is part of humanity. All Sudanese have beliefs, whether they are Muslims,
Christians or believers in indigenous African religions. Thus, freedom of worship for all
followers of religions or traditional beliefs shall be guaranteed, without favor or prejudice to
anyone of them. All that the vision of the New Sudan proposes is that religion regulates the
relationship between humans and their creator, a relation governed by religious legislation in the
personal realm. The state, on the other hand, is a socio-political institution contrived by humans
embracing all regardless of their respective religious affiliations. In the New Sudan, it is the
democratic constitution and not religion, which must constitute the sole source of legislation,
except personal and family laws.21
IV.20 All the Sudanese national languages shall all be promoted. Multilingualism shall become
the feature of the New Sudan culture.
Equitable Growth and Environmentally Sustainable Development
IV.21 The economic model of the New Sudan would make rational use of the country’s vast
natural and human resources with a view to arresting unequal development, putting an end to all
forms of marginalization and deprivation and achieving equitable distribution of the fruits of
growth. Thus, poverty reduction, and its ultimate eradication, will be the overarching objective
of development, with emphasis on equity and employment issues, as well as access and equity in
the provision of basic social services. An integral part of even development is the appropriate
and fair sharing of wealth among the various peoples of the Sudan. The regulatory role of the
state in the social and economic fields shall be undertaken with due consideration to the above
requirements. In doing so, the state shall cooperate, among others, with trades unions and
concerned civil society organizations.
IV.22 A social market is an organized economy whereby lawful regulation of the free market
forces aims at achieving social results. Therefore, the New Sudan economic system shall be
efficient and equitable in a sustainable fashion, in which corruption and graft are eliminated,
private initiative is encouraged, competitiveness observed and government’s social responsibility
not abdicated. It is a free market economy in which both public and private sector complement
and reinforce each other, with the role of the public sector concentrated on providing social
overhead services, basics infrastructure, social welfare and technical and technological
IV.23 While oil revenues are a boon to the economy, they shall cease to be so if they are not
used to fuel agriculture, rural development and the transformation of traditional farming through
technological innovations.
IV.24 In order to end urban bias and center-focused development orientation, the SPLM’s
vision is to “take towns to people in the countryside rather than people to towns”, where they end
up in slums with a consequent deterioration in the quality of their lives. Taking towns to the
people in the countryside rather than people to towns will not only preclude the phenomenon of
slum dwellers, but will also help ensure that people stay on the land so that agriculture and agroindustry can flourish.22
IV.25 Our economic model shall take advantage of globalization by increasingly transforming it
into a knowledge-based economy, to speed up development while at the same time mitigating the
negative consequences of globalization. However, this has to take place in the context of a
meaningful strategy for sustainable development that is anchored in science and technology.
Major challenges such as spurring industrial and agricultural productivity, ensuring food
security, controlling diseases, providing clean water and preserving the environment, cannot be
met adequately without using science and technology.
IV.26 Environmental management in the New Sudan will be strongly anchored on the concept
of sustainable human development and peace. The focus is on equitable and sensible utilization
of natural resources among the citizens without jeopardizing the rights of future generations;
preventing resource-based conflict and its consequences; acknowledging the citizens’ rights
especially the indigenous people to a clean, safe and healthy environment, and spreading the
culture of environmental rights through the principle of avoiding harm to the environment.
New Sudan in a Globalized World
IV.27 The SPLM forms part of the global forces, including political parties and civil society
organizations in developing and developed countries, campaigning for a humane and equitable
world order. In its historical evolution, the Movement has gained from and contributed to a
culture of human solidarity across the globe. In its world-wide interactions, the SPLM was
informed by values of internationalism, promotion of human rights against all abuses and
violations, and support for national liberation struggles and people’s fight against oppression and
IV.28 The SPLM shall continue to work with other like-minded forces to promote the
transformation of the global order away from unilateralism, conflict and confrontation to
cooperation, human solidarity and peace. The Movement shall also struggle to chart a path of
hope and human solidarity, to pursue resolution of conflicts through dialogue and peaceful
means and to promote mutual friendship among peoples of the world. In doing so, the SPLM
proceeds from the premise that all nations have a shared responsibility to improve the human
IV.29 The Movement’s standpoint on these global concerns is prompted by its profound
commitment to realize the interests of the Sudanese people, as well as by its commitment to the
well – being of humanity as a whole. The SPLM will continue to build and strengthen
progressive alliances and networks across the globe, including inter-state, party-to-party and

people-to-people relations in pursuit of an equitable and humane global order

THE (new) SPLM MANIFESTO (around 2005 when Dr. Garang passed away)


The history of the Sudan dates back to millenniums before Christ during which time some parts of the present Sudan founded kingdoms and the oldest known civilizations whose influence extended to other parts of the world ever since. These are exemplified by the ancient Nubian kingdoms of Kem, Nobadae and later Kush, Napata and Meroe, followed by the Nubian Christian kingdoms of Alawa and Makuriya in the northern part of Sudan. The kingdoms of Beja were established in the East and the kingdoms of the Azande, Chollo (Shilluk, Latoko (Otoku) and Anyuak in the present Southern Sudan.

Then came the period of the ‘Entry of the Arabs’, which some writers distort as the ‘Entry of the people to the Sudan’.This erroneously presupposes that there lived no people in the Sudan in the first place.

The Arabs came to the Sudan through three principal routes: through the Red Sea mainly as traders; through Egypt after her invasion by the Arabs in 641 A.D under Amr Ibn El –Aas and through western Sudan. Thus, Arabisation and Islamisation were intensified.

In the following year El-Aas invaded Sudan (Dongola) which was ruled by the black powerful Gen. Kalydosos. El-Aas was miserably defeated. Later, Abdullahi ibn Said in Abi Sarh, the viceroy of Egypt attempted to attack Dongola again, this time round in 651 A.D. The viceroy upon defeat was almost captured the managed to escape with a handful of men. Cairo had to implore for a permanent truce which lasted until the time of the last Black Christian king, Kerembes, in 1316 A.D. Henceforth, the Arabs went ahead to misrule the country.

The expansion of Islam and the migration of Arabs from the Arabian peninsula into the northern part of the Sudan led in due course to the establishment of various Islamic kingdoms such as the powerful Funj Sultanate known as the Black Sultanate, which emerged in 1504 and the kingdom of Darfur, founded by the Fur people and which maintained its independence from the rest of Sudan up to 1916. Indeed, the Islamic influence covered large part of northern Sudan.

The Turco-Egyptian conquest of 1820 marked the end of the early indigenous states and kingdoms in northern Sudan. It defeated the Funj Sultanate gradually penetrating the South, Centre and West in search of wealth and men (slaves); the two requirements, which necessitated the conquest in the first place. Thus, the interest of the new regime was intertwined with that of the local and incoming traders and merchants who became its agents and middlemen in the market through which it strived to achieve its objectives. This is how hundreds of thousands of slaves were captured from Southern, Central and Western Sudan and carried away to the north, Egypt and beyond. The Turco-Egyptian rule did not go unchallenged. In the South it was resisted by the Abiland Dinka and the Chollo, the tribes neighbouring the north. In North, it fought a number of battles with the local population such as Korti, Shendi and Musabaat in Kordofan.

When the economic burden of the Turkish colonial rule became unbearable, the Mahdist revolution was waged. Although it managed to overthrow a colonial regime, the Mahdia, as the system was known, established as Islamic state and ruled with an iron fist alienating in the process many sections of the northern community. The Mahdia did not penetrate much into the South and where it did it was met with stiff resistance as was the case in Chollo land, Azande and many parts of the South.

The Anglo-Egyptian condominium did not fare any better. In fact, it sowed the seeds of the present conflict in Sudan by first following a policy of separate development for Southern Sudan which it suddenly reversed in favour of a united Sudan under pressure from external and northern forces just after the Second World War. The Condominium spent most of its years in the South in pacification campaigns as exemplified by the military punitive actions against the Nuer and Dinka revolts.

Contemporaneously, there was the 1924 African revolution led by the White Flag.

At the threshold of independence, therefore, the Sudan emerged as an entity characterised by ethnic, religious and cultural diversity. Also, the practice of slavery left a legacy of enormous bitterness, suspicion and mistrust of the north by the South.

The colonial policy by necessity created uneven development in the Sudan in all spheres of life especially economic and educational. When at independence the administration of the country was handed over to the Northerners to the exclusion of others. The Southerners saw this as a mere change of masters.

The group that assumed the reins of power since independence insisted to perceive Sudan not in the way it really is but instead proceeded to run its political, cultural and economic affairs on a monolithic basis. A direct result of the behaviours was that the identity of Sudan was reduced to mono-culture, the Arab-Islamic marginalizing and sidelining the African dimension and the cultural heritage deep rooted in our history with its diverse cultures as a main and important component of the national Sudanese identity. Having taken over state and economic power, the Khartoum rulers swiftly moved to use brutal force to suppress any voices of dissent from neglected and marginalised nationalities. All these culminated in the Torit Uprising on 18 August 1955, a fierce war that raged for seventeen years.

The central problem of the Sudan, therefore, is that the post-1956 Sudanese state is an artificial state, based on a political system and an institutional framework of ethnic and religious chauvinism, and additionally after 1989 on Islamic fundamentalism. It is a state that excludes the vast majority of its citizens. The African Sudanese have been excluded from the centre of power and wealth since 1956, and after 1989 NIF coup, the system further excluded non-fundamentalist northern Muslins, while women have always extremely been excluded at all times.


The political dissatisfaction of the backward areas in the Sudan was a direct product of the phenomenon of African independence following the Second World War. This independence was predicated on the results of the policy of divide-and-rule which pitted some parts of the present Northern Sudan against the rest of the country in terms of colonial peripheral development, trend which was accentuated and aggravated by the regimes that came and went in Khartoum.

First, it was the South that demanded a rectification of the imbalance and absence of equity and its politicians organised themselves in the early 1950s into political parties, such as the Liberal Party, that called for a federal system of governance in Sudan. This was well before the Torit Revolution. The Beja Congress was formed in 1958 to champion the call of the Beja people for a federal system which would guarantee their effective participation in the affairs of the State. Following the October Revolution of 1964, the other marginalised regions of Darfur and the Nuba Mountains joined the chorus of demands for federalism as expressed through their organisations: the Darfur Development Front, the General Union of the Nuba (GUN) etc. This political demand was contemptuously dismissed by Khartoum, hence the resort to armed struggle. The early sixties saw the Southern politicians and youths joining the armed struggle in the Southern bushes and in Western Sudan armed opposition began to be expressed in organisations such as Sunni.

The struggle in the South could not converge with that in the other underdeveloped areas in the Northern Sudan, despite the fact that the grievances are almost the same, because the ruling cliques in Khartoum managed to use the questions of nationality and religion to isolate the struggle in the South from that of the underdeveloped areas of the North. In essence, therefore, the struggle in the North like that in the South, has its origin in the past uneven peripheral colonial development and post-independence repressive and oppressive schemes by the Khartoum successive clique regimes in collusion with foreign quarters in the name sovereignty.

The relative development that took place in the Gezira and Khartoum itself was motivated not by altruistic considerations but by the need of the colonial authorities to get a competitive edge by developing the Gezira scheme for cheap extraction of cotton to feed the ailing textile industry of Manchester and Liverpool. As a result it became necessary to provide those areas with general and technical education in order to produce the required native junior staff to assist the colonial administration in the extraction of surplus.

The reasons for the celebrated Torit Revolution and the subsequent formation of the Anya-nya armed Movement are traceable to the political development of the South during the colonial period, non-representation of the South in the independence talks in Cairo in 1953, broken promises on giving it a special political status within a united Sudan and lack of effective and equitable participation in the pre-independence national government (1954-1956). The report of the Sudanisation Committee in 1955 and the disarming of the Equatoria Corps were the straw that broke the camel’s back and precipitated the revolution in Torit. The repressive policies undertaken by the Khartoum government after the army takeover in 1958 fuelled the Uprising and swelled the ranks of the Southern armed struggle pioneered by the Anya-nya. The Anya-nya felt that the Southern grievances could only be addressed by creating a separate and an independent state in Southern Sudan. This position was arrived at out of their conviction that the intransigence of the ruling clique in Khartoum precluded any genuine unity based on justice and equality.

The first serious attempt at reconciling differences between the North and the South was made in 1965 Round Table Conference in Khartoum attended by all political parties in the North and South. The Conference almost succeeded were it not that the Northern political parties, which stood as one block, rejected the two key demands of the South: that the South be treated as one entity and that the head of the Southern government be elected by the Southerners. This stubborn position left the Southerners in no doubt that the North is bent on continuing with its policies of hegemony and exclusion of others in running the affairs of Sudan. Clearly, a more repressive master has replaced the colonialists.

The May regime of Dictator Jaafar Mohammed Nimeiri held peace talks in February 1972 in Addis Ababa with the Anya-nya and its political wing, the South Sudan Liberation Movement (SSLM). The government delegation in the talks conceded to the South the two key issues that caused the failure of the Round Table Conference. Hence, the two sides arrived at the Addis Ababa Agreement. Later developments were to prove that Nimeiri was not genuine in this peacemaking. The Addis Ababa Agreement was just one ring in the chain of Nimeiri’s survival politics and he disposed of the Agreement when it had served his purpose.


The regime of Nimeiri quickly moved to dismantle the Addis Ababa Agreement as soon as it came into force. Politically, the ruling clique in Khartoum initiate policies designed to undermine the AAA. These policies included: interference in the election of the leadership of the Southern region, construction of the Jonglei canal, capricious and unconstitutional dissolutions of the Southern People’s Regional Assemblies, attempts to redraw the South-North boundary, the decision to build the refinery for oil discovered in the South outside it, deliberate neglect of socio-economic development of the South, integration of Sudan with Egypt, and division of the South into three regions and the cancellation of the South High Executive Council (HEC) in order to weaken the South through divide-and-rule tactics.

On the military side, the regime set in motion policies to dismantle the AAA. These policies include: summary dismissal of some 32,000 ex-Anya-nya guerrillas who were absorbed in 1972 in civil jobs, attempts to complete the integration of the 6,000 absorbed Anya-nya guerrillas into the rest of the Sudanese Army within the Southern Command before the period stipulated in the AAA expired and transfer to the North of the battalions composed of the former Anya-nya.

The above attempts by the repressive minority clique in Khartoum were met with fierce resistance in the South leading to the Akobo mutiny (1975). Elements of this mutiny combined with some of the dismissed ex-Anya-nya and formed what became known as Anya-nya II in Upper Nile. Later on, and mainly in 1982, armed resistance, under the same name but not command, sprang up in Bahr el Ghazal. At the same time, prominent absorbed Anya-nya officers continued to organise within the Sudanese army in order to transform the situation, either to attack and capture Juba or withdraw to the bush and wage a protracted armed struggle. Khartoum seized the initiative and attacked Bor and Pibor garrison on 16/5/1983 and later the Ayod garrison attacked Khartoum forces that were sent to arrest its ex-Anya-nya commander. This was the spark that lighted the tinderbox.

Simultaneous with the military moves, prominent Southern politicians and student organised several underground organisations to mobilise the masses against the attempts at dismantling the agreement. These opposition bodies include: National Action Movement (NAM), Movement for Total Liberation of Southern Sudan (MTLSS), Juwama African People’s Organisation (JAPO), Council for the Unity of Southern Sudan (CUSS) and South Sudan Liberation Movement (SSLM) which actually started a guerrilla warfare in 1982 and came in the limelight in July 1983 when it seized a number of foreigners in Boma post


By early 1983 the objective and subjective conditions had combined for revolutionary situation. The battles of Bor (commanded by Major. Kerubino Kwanyin Bol), Pibor (commanded by Captain Riek Macuoc) and Ayod (commanded by Major William Nyoun Bany) caused desertions in other units of the Southern command and in Northern Sudan, drove student and other civilians en masse to join the armed struggle and resulted in the exodus of refugees into the neighbouring countries especially Ethiopia.

Elements of the political and military organisations and officers referred to earlier that opposed the regime in its machinations and the dismantling of the AAA converged and established the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the Sudan People’s liberation movement (SPLM)

Although the SPLM emerged in continuation of the struggle waged earlier by the SSLM/Anya-nya and other Sudanese patriotic movements, the movement saw the resolution of Sudan’s crisis differently from the way SSLM/Anya-nya did. The movement believes that Sudan’s salvation lies in the solution of both the nationality and religious questions within the context of a united, democratic and secular Sudan

Thus, although the SPLM started by necessity in the South, it aims at spreading its message and seeking support from all over the country.

The principal objectives of the SPLM:
•Ø The establishment of the New Sudan that shall be built on a free, just, equitable, democratic and secular system of governance and popular participation of all the people of the New Sudan.
•Ø The achievement of the right to and exercise of self-determination by and for the people of New Sudan in fulfilment of their aspirations.
•Ø Building a national consciousness and common purpose in the New Sudan through the liberation of the individual and society from all forms of political, economic, social and other constraints.
•Ø The Restoration of the Greatness of our People, and Modernisation of the Society.

Stemming from these principal objectives, the SPLM sets in what follows the basic principles on which its vision on the different aspects of life is founded. These are broad guidelines that will be detailed in the Movements’ policies and programmes.


Sudan as it is today is the result of evolution and interaction of different cultures and civilizations over centuries. Trekking the history of our people back to the Kushite Kingdom of 2000 B.C and earlier, our transparent social, cultural and political diversities are sum product of this historical mutation. The African cultural heritage remains the main and important component of the Sudanese national identity.

In recognition of Sudan religious, racial, and cultural multiplicity, the SPLM shall work for peaceful interaction of cultures and balanced expression of the basic components of our diversity at the State level, especially in fields of education and the media.


Freedom of the people is paramount and sacrosanct. The sovereignty and legitimacy of the Sudanese State is vested in the free will of its people. The SPLM is committed to the respect of the basic rights of all peoples as enshrined in the international conventions and covenants. The rule of law is supreme and must be upheld by all.

The Movement acknowledges the reality of Sudan’s ethic, religious, linguistic and cultural variety on the reality of which the Constitution must be founded. The Movement stands for a secular, non-racial, modern, democratic and free country. The SPLM shall champion the cause of elimination of all forms of discrimination, slavery or abuse.


The SPLM objective is to establish a government that will play a vital role in building democracy in a future New Sudan. A government that ensures the participation of all members of the society in decision-making, planning process and the affairs affecting their lives.

Since independence, the Sudan has gone through an unstable democratic system with the military seizing power and ruling for more than three-quarters of the time. This political instability is mainly due to the undemocratic nature of the ruling parties and the failure of liberal parliamentary democracy in striking the correct balance between freedom and a strong executive branch of the government which is an essential factor of development.

To address this aspect the SPLM adopts a constitutional popular presidential system with the necessary checks and balances so that the legislature and the independent judiciary, the other two arms of government, could carry out their duties and functions without interference from the executive.

As to the system of rule, the peculiarities of the Sudan lead us to adopt a decentralised system of government in order to have power closer to the people, accommodate national diversity and to share power and wealth equitably. Such a system can only operate effectively under a democratic set-up where the powers of the various levels of government are clearly spelt out in the Constitution.

The SPLM respects the absolute independence of our judiciary, legislature and respect of powers in these three supreme branches of government, within the framework of the supremacy of the rule of law.

This consolidates and enhances the spirit and zeal that the Kingdom of Kush was founded upon and persisted as a civilization and people ever since and until and until now.


The foreign policy of the SPLM will be primarily guided by the nature of its domestic policies and objectives directed in serving the interest of the Sudanese people.

We will aspire to establish relations with all the countries based on our common good, and ensure our membership in the international and regional organisation as African Unity, United Nation and others.

Respect to all international conventions on human rights and other civil rights shall highly prevail, be promoted and fostered.

The SPLM shall serve devotedly to promote the noble objectives of democracy, peace, modernisation, development and mutual cooperation among the people of Africa and the world in large.

The SPLM will maintain its uncompromising principle of non-interference and meddling in the internal affairs of other and sustain good neighbourliness policies within the region.

We will actively promote global cooperation on environment protection and conservation now and for the future generations.

It’s our obligation to establish infinite cooperation in combating international terrorism, and ensure peace to all civilized and freedom loving people.

The SPLM shall stand for building a competent professional foreign service, and observe international diplomatic norms and ethics.


The has been in war with itself since independence for 46 years out of the half century since the first national government assumed the reins of power in 1954. The war that broke out in the South since 1955 and spread into the other parts of the country as created bitter memories.

This together with the grievances that led to the armed conflict and the history of dishonoured agreements resulted in a gulf of mistrust, suspicion and lack of confidence. Herein lays the explanation why the attainment of a just and lasting peace has eluded the governments that have come and gone in Khartoum.

For the SPLM, peace is not just the absence of war, it is principally addressing the root causes of the war so as to create a society where all its components truly feel to be integral parts of it. It is for this reason that the SPLM has adopted the right of self-determination as the means for resolving the Sudanese conflict as the new Sudan must be built on the free consensus of the people.

The sustenance of peace is an important as arriving at one. Hence, every effort must be made to avoid resorting to arms by any section of our community be ensuring justice and equality to all within the constitutional set-up in the country.

Further to its longstanding policy of promoting mutual forgiveness, peace, reconciliation, general equity and unity of purpose and consensus-building; the SPLM policy on Dialogue proposes the holding of series of national, regional and local conferences in order to further the cause of mutual forgiveness, peace, reconciliation and sustainable development.

It is intended that such efforts of ongoing dialogue shall deepen the sentiments of trust and confidence within and between the Elders, Leaders, peoples or constituencies of Sudan for the fostering and building a culture of peaceful coexistence, improving the culture policy making thus ensuring the complex dynamics of managing public affairs shall remain democratic, participatory, inclusive, transparent and accountable.



Since the political independence attained in 1956, the Sudanese model development has been characterised by:
1.Uneven development of the modern sector at the expense of the traditional and the urban at the expense of the rural, although 80 – 90% of the population live in the countryside;
1.Subsidizing the living standards of the upper and middle classes in the town at the expense of the farmers, unemployed and the urban poor; and,
1.Unequal distribution of income.

The consequences of this model of development have been far-reaching causing socio-economic and political crisis, spreading crime, growing foreign debts, deficit in balance of payments, brain drain, deepening inequalities, environmental degradation, migration from the countryside to the towns, among others.

On the basis of the SPLM’s analysis of the reality of the Sudanese society especially the countryside which has been neglected all through the previous regimes, the Movement believes that any solution to the chronic Sudanese crisis must first and foremost strive to stop the economic and environmental decay of the countryside from its present state of collapse.

The SPLM’s economic vision is to achieve a sustainable people-based development in the country. Such a development must combine economic growth with the poverty reduction and its eventual eradication, empowerment of the people and social inclusion, rational utilisation of natural resources and effective protection of the environment and cultural heritage.

Self-reliance is the guiding principle in all our economic plans. Self-reliance has reflections on the policies of consumption, production and priorities of energy and transport. Self-reliance as of necessity demands that due attention be paid to the rural production base which requires that top priority be given to the issue of arresting the collapse of rural economy and the stoppage of the consequences of such collapse in town and to lay the foundation for programmes that will promote the rural workforce in relation to labour and production. Thus the SPLM shall strive to:
1.Bring about the reconstruction of the areas directly affected by the war and the rehabilitation of the infrastructure, the agricultural and industrial projects and public services which collapses as a result of neglect, erosion, lack of maintenance or pressures of forced migration.
1.Relieve the difficult living conditions and meeting the basic requirements by adopting programmes that are based on self-reliance accompanied by controlling consumption and tightening expenditure starting from the State and its institutions.
1.Carry out a comprehensive revision of the general expenditure in order to control it. This includes reviewing the performance of public service and public institutions both qualitatively and quantitatively in order to improve performance, rehabilitation of workforce and directing its excess in government departments to productive employment.
1.Formulate policies and modalities that encourage private initiative, invocation of efficient exploitation of the enormous natural resources of the Sudan so as to raise the quality of life of the people.
1.Promulgate legislations and the enactment of laws to correct the negative cumulative impact of historical injustices. The Movement shall endeavour to bring about equity by encouraging mixed economy based on composite of freely competitive private, cooperative and public sectors, and fair distribution of income, wealth and development opportunities in the regions of the country.
1.Adopt investment promotion policies that attract capital financing internally and externally, including joint ventures to optimally exploit the available resources and the modernisation of production technologies.
1.Establish projects for the exploration and extraction of minerals resources and the generation of energy from local water, oil, wind and solar energy.
1.Encourage economic collaboration with other countries especially neighbouring countries, regional networks of economic cooperation and international trade.
1.Pay attention to creation of job opportunities and combating unemployment.

10.Pursue policies towards poverty alleviation.

1.B. Banking System and Fiscal Policy

The executive power is the authority that lays down the economic and financial policies. However, the Central Bank must be independent from any direct administrative control by the Ministry of Finance so as to enable it to play its important role in the attainment of the economic stability and the solution of the problems of inflation and exchange rates. In this context the Central Bank shall fully supervise the activities of the Commercial Banks and all the institutions of the banking sector.

A sound fiscal policy is essential for the financial viability of the Government. This will be reflected in budgetary controls, fair tax structure both on the individuals and the business enterprises, efficient customs systems and other areas of economic activity.

C. Agriculture

Agriculture is the backbone of the Sudanese economy and self-sustenance. Over 80% of the population is engaged in agricultural activities. In this regard, priority shall be given to food self-sufficiency; hence development and production of food crops, livestock and fisheries to meet food needs as well as for cash in both local and international markets. Given the policy, the SPLM shall strive to:
1.Restore and strengthen the agricultural sector for production of food crops to guarantee food security.
1.Expand the production base and introduction of many varieties of crops.
1.Take care of the environmental protection in planning agricultural development
1.Reduce the cost of production in all schemes.
1.Support and improve all the organs that formulate and execute agricultural policies.
1.Intensify afforestation and adoption of other measures that will combat the phenomenon of desertification.
1.Exert efforts to stop environmental decay in pastoral areas and to avoid the same in areas not yet affected.
1.Improve the conditions of environmental productivity with a view of developing the enhancing the hereditary production aspect and the realization of vertical development of animal production.
1.Intensify research and development in the areas of improving productivity by providing improved breeds that are capable of acclimatizing and resisting the difficult environmental conditions

10.Pay special attention to the modern animal production sector.

11.Formulate comprehensive plans and programmes to combat the spread of endemic animals diseases.

12.Expand and improve veterinary services, both preventive and curative.

13.Develop an organisational structure that ensures the integration between pastures, research and services of animal production.

14.Evaluate fisheries resources and the development of policies and methods for its sustainable exploitation and protection.

15.Improve the fisheries resources through systems of technical treatment, preservation and sale of products for local consumption and for export.

D. Industrial Sector

The main objective of industrialization is to be a complementary sector to agriculture, to process agricultural raw materials and intermediate products and the development of industries for agricultural equipment. In addition, the role of industry is to include development of national skills in the exportation of the sources of renewable energy such as biomass and solar energy and to build a basis for manufacturing industries. Therefore, the industrial policies will include the following:
1.Development of the sources of energy which is the backbone to any industrialization efforts.
1.Integration of the industrial sector with the other sectors of national economy by means of developing agriculturally-based industries and the industries that depend on minerals and petroleum products.
1.Laying down a framework for mixed economy by the integration of the public and private sectors and consolidating the role of each.
1.Building basic structures that encourage industry as the provision of fuel, energy, communications, transport and the manufacturing of the agricultural equipment and vital agricultural inputs in order to attain self-efficiency in basic needs and to encourage the increase in the volume of exports of finished products.
1.Expansion of the industrial base with the objectives of increasing the National Income, self-reliance and reducing dependency on the outside world.
1.Formulation of a plan to organize, encourage and develop cottage and rural industries to contribute to the rise of employment opportunities and the increase of industrial production.
1.E. Research and Human Development
1.Support of the existing training centres and the establishment of new specialized training centres and the encouragement of industries to carry out in-service training for their employees.
1.Directing the institutions of scientific research towards the service of the objectives of industrial development by creating a close relationship between these institutions and the production sectors.
1.Formulation of clear policies on vocational training that specify the priorities and quality of the training required.
1.F. Transport and Communications

Given the large area of the country, it is imperative to immediately establish a reliable infrastructure in transport and communications. There can never be any meaningful development or progress in industry and trade without efficient transport system and effective communications network.

The SPLM shall give priority to the following areas:
1.Rehabilitation, development and expansion of the river transport as it provides the cheapest means of transport.
1.Maintenance of the old river transport ports and establishment of new ones.
1.Rehabilitation and construction of roads and highways connecting various parts of the country.
1.Expansion of railway to many parts of the country and introduction of wide-track railway system wherever possible. In big towns, the possibility of using tram as means of transport shall be considered.
1.Maintenance of existing airstrips and construction of new ones in various areas in Sudan.
1.Set up efficient air transport networks, which shall be run by either or both public and private sector corporations.
1.Introduction of modern telecommunications systems all over the country.
1.Establishment of an efficient postal service.
1.Radio and TV transmission stations shall be set up so as to play their role in information, education and development.

10.Involvement of the private sector in all the above except in the regulatory aspect which shall remain as a governmental authority.

G. Wildlife and Tourism

The Sudan is well endowed with sufficient and rare species of wildlife. This natural wealth must be preserved and the rare species protected for posterity. The SPLM shall establish national parks and encourage tourism in such areas and all over the country. Measures will be taken to ensure that the tourists comply with the laws and norms of the country.

11. LAND
1.The SPLM policies must provide access to land both as productive resource and to ensure that all our citizens have a secure place to live in.
1.The development of the productive agricultural sector and a viable rural economy is necessary for economic growth and the well being of all Sudanese.
1.The productive potential of the land and the people living on it should be effectively harnessed for the benefit of the entire nation. Thus the SPLM’s approaches to land issues must be placed in the context of our overall developmental strategy addressing problems of poverty, malnutrition, landlessness and unemployment;
1.The SPLM’s policy is that land belongs to the community although the state will play key role in the acquisition and allocation of land and should therefore have the power to acquire land in a variety of ways, including expropriation according to the law consistent with communal norms of land ownership. However, measures must be taken to prevent land speculation.


The SPLM believes that all citizens at present and in future, have the right to safe and healthy environment, and to a life of wellbeing. Accordingly, the broad objectives of our environmental policy are aimed at fulfilling this right. In this context growth and development within our country must be based on the criteria of sustainability.

Accordingly, the broad objectives of the SPLM’s environmental policy are:
1.Regulated access to and sustainable use of environmental resources,
1.Public participation in all planning and decisions which affect the development and management of natural resources;
1.public right of access to information and the courts on issues of environmental concern;
1.An integrated approach to environmental issues that relates to all sectors of society;
1.Recognition of the integrated nature of global environment for international cooperation in policy making;
1.To encourage the information of NGOs that work to protect the environment, and the conservation of biological diversity and protection of endangered species;
1.To enact legislation that protects the natural environment, habitat and natural resources as well as inhibit environmentally unsound practices.
1.To ensure that any new feasibility studies for major industrial or other projects shall have acquired an environmental impact assessment certificate.
1.Promote tourism industry with the appropriate regulations


Civil Society occupies a vital place in the establishment, maintenance of good governance and the rule of law. For civil society to live up to this objective, the SPLM views as critical the need to create an enabling environment for the civil society to play its natural role through policies, programmes and activities that include:
1.Guaranteeing basic freedoms including freedom of speech and association, which are necessary for the development of civil society;
1.Public education, increased information flow and better communication among the people, provision of legal framework to regulate, formalise and facilitate the work of civil organisations, provision of necessary environment for peace, security and stability;
1.Advocating and supporting capacity building and institutional development of civic organisations including promotion of effective participation, democracy and accountability;
1.Undertaking civic education and political awareness;
1.Promoting economic activities that generate income, enhance self-sufficiency, eliminate dependency and lead to the restoration of dignity and self-worth;
1.Enhancing gender consciousness, increasing the participation of women in public life and more importantly, increasing access to education of girls and skills training for women.


The SPLM acknowledges and condemns the evil of corruption particularly bribery and misuse of public funds to serve personal interests.

This wanton behaviour which has led to the loss public finances including other public property is an impediment development and prosperity in society. The SPLM therefore shall:
1.Strive to build an anti-corruption culture in the Sudan through civic education against corruption to be included in the syllabuses in all educational institutions;
1.Create public awareness about the evil of corruption so that we do not accept it as a norm in our society;
1.Decentralise power and funds from the centre to the lower tiers of the government and establishment of the special public accounts committees and effective audit offices at all levels
1.Establish contact with international anti-corruption organisations to assist in the elimination of corruption;
1.Be strict in observance of good governance, transparency and accountability at all levels of administration in the Sudan and any corrupt official shall be severely punished in the courts of law.


Although women in the Sudan like in most countries in the world constitute more than 50% of the population, they suffer many forms of discrimination in social, economic and political fields simply because they are women. In the Sudan underdevelopment, poverty and a host of other negative customs traditions further exacerbate the plight of women. For the above negative perception of women, the SPLM:
1.Affirms gender equity between women and men and shall take all necessary positive measures for the full liberation, development and empowerment of women;
1.Urges women to take the necessary initiatives at all levels from the grassroots to the highest national level to organise themselves and establish women organisations to ensure their effective participation in society;
1.Encourages women of the Sudan to network internationally and actively participate in international women organisations.
1.The Sudanese women being the most of the marginalized, SPLM shall do all in its power to empower them socially, economically, and politically.
1.Designs and implements programmes on early childhood upbringing on the basis of social values, good citizenship, equality and strengthening the role of its institutions such as the family in ways consistent with the UN Convention on the Rights of the child.


The SPLM believes that the society has a responsibility to develop and nurture its youth to allow them to reach their full potential in order to make a meaningful contribution as individual members of society. Their resourcefulness, energy and enthusiasm must be harnessed to allow them to play their meaningful role in our country.

The basic values of our youth policies are democracy, non-racialism, respect and human dignity, non-sexism, tolerance and all values encompassed in general SPLM policies.

The objectives of our youth policy encompassed the following:
1.Promote the development of all Sudanese youth and implement policies which will prevent the recurrence of the marginalization of our young people in the future;
1.Focus programmes of the socio-economic development of the youth.
1.Set in place an autonomous, broad and representative structure of the youth and to coordinate and develop youth activities.
1.Encourage a spirit of understanding and respect between the youth and the old, parents and children;
1.To eradicate the root causes of delinquency and targeting street children, unaccompanied minors and children under difficult circumstances for social care and rehabilitation;
1.To protect the youth from negative alien cultural influences.



The SPLM recognizes the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest standards of physical and mental health. To achieve the full realization of this right the SPLM shall:
1.Concentrate efforts on the rehabilitation of curative health institutions coupled with soliciting external assistance to control the endemic diseases and the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Also to strive the reactivate preventive health programmes in the towns and countryside with special attention being paid to women and children,
1.Strive to create a comprehensive, equitable and integrated National Health Service (NHS);
1.The NHS will actively promote community participation in the planning, provision, control and monitoring of services. Fundamental to this approach will be accountability to local communities and decentralisation of decision making;
1.Rural Health services will be given priority and made accessible with particular attention given to improving transport facilities;
1.The provision for the reduction of still-birth rate and of infant mortality and for the health development of the child;
1.Building of hospitals, health centres and dispensaries;
1.The improvement of all aspects of environmental and industrial hygiene;
1.The prevention, treatment and control of epidemic, endemic, occupational and other diseases.
1.Direct the health service to give priority to children, mothers, the elderly, the mentally ill, workers, the unemployed and the disabled;

10.Provide appropriate services to adolescent and to young adults;

11.To empower National Health Service to appropriately and efficiently collect data to enable rational management planning and relevant research to address the most important health problems facing the community.

12.Recognise and regulate herbal and alternative medicine practitioners.

13.Establishment of a national drug authority to regulate the manufacturing, importation and use of medicines.


A good number of areas in the country lack water supply and/or healthy waste disposal facilities. The SPLM recognizes the right of every citizen to have access to clean water. In this respect, the SPLM shall strive to:
1.Rehabilitate existing water pumps, haffirs and other facilities.
1.Construct boreholes and other water sources where needed.
1.Train community-based water technicians.
1.Provide adequate and decent toilet facilities and appropriate and efficient waste disposal services.


the SPLM recognises the right of everyone to education. Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and the sense of its dignity, and shall strengthen the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms. The goal of education shall be to enable all persons to participate effectively in a free society, promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among citizens whatever their ethnic, religious or gender differences may be.

With a view to achieving full realization of our rights, the SPLM shall:
1.Concentrate on the rehabilitation of the present educational institutions,
1.Establish an educational system that combines theory and practice. Hence, the educational system in Sudan shall cover basic formal education, vocational training and other technical education
1.Strive for the attainment of a compulsory and free primary education for all.
1.Ensure that secondary education in its different forms, including technical and vocational secondary education, shall be made generally available and accessible to all by every appropriate means, and in particular by progressive introduction of free education.
1.Ensure that higher education shall be made equally accessible to all, on the basis of capacity and merit by every appropriate means
1.Plan to eradicate illiteracy among adults vigorously and work to achieve adult literacy schemes to a specific timetable to achieve literacy for all.
1.Produce relevant curriculum to both the needs for the individual, as well as the social and economic needs of society;
1.Undertake to respect the liberty of parents and when applicable, legal guardians, to choose for their children schools other than those established by public authorities which conform to such minimum educational standards as may be laid down or approved by the State to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their convictions.


Rural development forms an essential component of the SPLM programmes for redistribution of wealth and growth.
1.To redress the current imbalances in the provision of social services and physical infrastructure requires affirmative action in the allocation of resources. The rural development policy will give emphasis to generating a viable, productive rural economy through activities such as agro-industry. These programmes should focus on economically viable localities, but benefit all people in rural areas, especially women.
1.The SPLM will initiate wide-ranging co-related and coordinated research to develop a comprehensive rural development programme. Such a programme will integrate the relevant sectors of SPLM policy, including for instance SPLM policy on land, local government, environment and agriculture.
1.The community leaders shall be encouraged to work towards raising the level of consciousness in their communities and to mobilize the grassroots to undertake implementation of social services for the welfare of the individual and the community.
1.The SPLM shall endeavour to use the traditional institutions and organisations as channels for individual and community participation in the struggle for development activities.
1.The SPLM shall strive to provide credit facilities to the rural population to encourage production.


Provision of decent housing and accommodation to workers, government officials and other sectors of the community is of central importance. The SPLM shall strive to meet this need at a reasonable cost to the tenant. The citizens will also be encouraged to own houses or flats on a hire-purchase basis on monthly instalments they can afford.

The SPLM believes that a clear national housing policy is needed to address the provision of housing services. This policy is a process which contributes to the cultural, economic and social development of the entire society and is therefore part of the strategy to improve people’s total living conditions. The SPLM therefore shall:
1.Encourage the private and cooperative sectors to mobilize resources and device innovative strategies for provision of affordable housing;
1.Ensure that the poor, men and women in both urban and rural areas, have favourable access to credit facilities to enable them build decent houses;
1.Acknowledge housing as a basic human right;
1.Regard housing as contributing to social equality;
1.Treat housing as a critical component of development.


The SPLM appreciates the multi-cultural and multi-religious nature of the Sudanese society. Therefore, no person shall be denied the right, in community with the other members of their group, to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practise their own religion, or to use their own language.

No particular nationality, whatever its ever size has the right to impose its own identity over the others. Thus, emerges the necessity for the promotion of a new cultural outlook that would create a conductive environment for mutual interaction between the cultures of the various nationalities.


Currently there is a virtual absence of effective mass media in the marginalized areas of the Sudan and other mechanisms for disseminating information. The legislation, the structure of the ownership of media resources, skill, language policy, and social depravation have undermined access to information for the majority of the population. The SPLM believes that the transition to democracy in the Sudan entails a movement form a closed society into one based on a free flow of information and a culture of open debate. Therefore:
1.The SPLM shall encourage the development both print and electronic media meet the needs of enlightenment, civic education, sensitisation of the people in areas such as peace, health, education, gender issues, agriculture and development in general. Such media will also serve vehicles to promote social and ethnic integration, harmony and mutual respect and understanding;
1.The Movement shall enhance cultural and social activities of the people through liberalised media policy;
1.The Movement policy shall be that all people shall have the right of access to information held or collected by the state or other social institution subject to any limitations provided for in the constitution;
1.There shall be no institutional or legislative measures restricting the free flow of information or imposing censorship over the media and other information agencies;
1.All people shall have the right freely to publish, broadcast and otherwise disseminate information and opinion, and all shall have the right of free access to information and opinion;
1.All media should subscribe to a standard of practice and/or code of conduct agreed upon among the producers and distributors of public information, communication and advertisement.
1.There shall be no restrictions on private broadcasting initiatives beyond the accepted constitutional constraints and technical regulations arising out of legislation governing the media;


Civil service is the prime mover of the state machinery and must be founded on efficiency and justice. In the Sudan, the civil service has been bedevilled by lack of balance which was manifested in regional and ethic segregation in labour where particular jobs became the preserve of certain socio-cultural or ethnic backgrounds. This is a deliberate policy of social division and must therefore be rectified. Another factor is the deterioration in the working environment, terms of service, politicisation, nepotism and lack of transparency. So for the civil service to achieve its objectives, the SPLM believes in the following:
1.The civil service must be neutral and should not be politicised;
1.The Civil Service Commission, composed of people with long experience and integrity should be set up;
1.Qualifications with competence must be the overriding criterion for selection within the civil service;
1.Fair and just system be adopted to create balance in the Civil Service;
1.Necessary measures must be undertaken to revitalise the Civil Service.