Former South Sudan agriculture minister Lam Akol has formed a new political party, which he says will inject some ideology into the country’s politics.
In an exclusive interview with The EastAfrican in Nairobi, Dr Akol said his new party, the National Democratic Movement (NDM), will fight against totalitarianism, corruption and ethnicity.
Dr Akol, who resigned from the Transitional Government in August on the grounds that President Salva Kiir had gone against the peace agreement, said that NDM will work closely with Dr Riek Machar and other groups to take over the government from President Kiir.
He said NDM aims to bring together political and civil society groups with the core message being to bring about change through politics, diplomacy and, if necessary, the military.
“These are groups who want to base their political discourse on the transformation of centuries-old conditions of poverty, illiteracy and the culture of violence,” said Dr Akol.
Dr Akol, who hails from Malakal in Upper Nile State, is the former leader of the Sudanese Peoples’ Liberation Movement-Democratic Change (SPLM-DC), which he used to contest the presidency against President Kiir in the 2010 elections. He lost.
Dr Akol now says he wants to move away from the SPLM tag.
“SPLM has been a curse for the people. It has never been a political party but an independence movement that has not reformed into a conventional party,” he said.
He says he resigned from the SPLM-DC because it advocates only peaceful means for change, which is not working with President Kiir, forcing him to consider other means like using the military.
During the interim period between 2005 and 2011, Dr Akol was the foreign minister for Sudan until 2007. The then semi-autonomous south held 18 per cent of the government.
After the signing of the August 2015 peace agreement, Dr Akol joined the Cabinet, representing Other Political Parties.
Dr Machar’s SPLM-IO group held meetings in Khartoum last week, which Dr Akol was part of.
The former vice-president is strategising on his next move after being thrown out of the Transitional Government.