This press conference was called to announce the formation of the South Sudan Liberation Movement (SSLM). This follows the establishment on November 4th, 1999 in Waat, central Upper Nile, of the Upper Nile Provisional Military Command Council (UMCC), which unified all the military forces in central, eastern and western Upper Nile.
The SSLM is deeply embedded in the history of the struggle of the people of Southern Sudan against the different Arab dominated governments in Khartoum. At a time when the destiny of the people of Southern Sudan hinges on a precarious balance, it became necessary to invoke the memories of the relentless struggle of our people for independence and nationhood. The SSLM, therefore, is an extension of, and a continuation of that heroic struggle of the people of South Sudan. Its formation comes against a background of repeated broken promises and unfulfilled agreements between our people and the Arab dominated regimes, which now makes the armed struggle the ultimate method for the realisation of the aspirations of our people for freedom and statehood.
The SSLM was formed and begins its existence in Upper Nile Region to politically mobilise the people, who have been neutralised and removed from the war of liberation since 1991, and commit them to participate effectively in the war of liberation alongside their compatriots in other parts of South Sudan. In this respect, the SSLM shall complement the efforts of other political and military groups in South Sudan who are pursuing an agenda of national liberation. The political objective of the SSLM is therefore the total liberation of the people of South Sudan from the yoke of Arab domination and oppression.
The SSLM shall pursue two methods of struggle to achieve the right of the people of Southern Sudan to self-determination: The peaceful resolution of the conflict through a negotiated settlement through the IGAD peace process, and through the armed struggle. In this regards, the SSLM shall undertake the following immediate tasks:
The SSLM shall mobilize all the people of Upper Nile and organize them into a strong fighting force under the UMCC. Western Upper Nile is already experiencing some of the fiercest battles in this war.
PEACE AND RECONCILIATION AMONG THE COMMUNITIES
The SSLM shall support and promote by all means at its disposal the on-going people to people peace and reconciliation process under the auspices of the New Sudan Council of Churches (NSCC), as a prelude to unity, stability, and social harmony in Upper Nile.
SECURITY AND STABILITY
The SSLM shall provide security for all the citizens of Upper Nile and protect them against the enemy actions. The SSLM shall encourage the voluntary repatriation of the Internally Displaced People (IDPs) back to their homes of origin in Upper Nile, and therefore, calls upon the international community to assist in providing the necessary resources for the consolidation of the peace process in Upper Nile.
DIALOGUE WITH THE POLITICAL AND MILITARY GROUPS IN SOUTH SUDAN
The SSLM shall open, with immediate effect, channels of dialogue with the political and military groups in South Sudan with the objective of immediately cooperating and coordinating the military operations against the enemy in all the fronts in South Sudan. The SSLM shall pursue the unity of the people of South Sudan and their effective participation in their liberation.
Long Live the struggle for freedom.
Dr. Wal Duany
Interim Executive Committee
South Sudan Liberation Movement