Opposition leader, Joseph Bakasoro rejoins SPLM party with call for peace and unity

Joseph Bangasi Bakosoro, former governor of Western Equatoria | Credit: Emmanuel Akile |Eye Radio

The leader of the South Sudan National Movement for Change, Joseph Bangasi Bakosoro calls for peace as he rejoined Sudan People’s Liberation Movement.

Bakasoro left SPLM before the 2010 elections to contest as an independent candidate and became governor of Western Equatoria State, vesting the then incumbent state governor, Jemma Nunu Kumba.

Bakasoro is the national minister of public service in the unity government on the ticket of South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) believes rejoining the SPLM – the ruling party, will restore unity in the party itself and among the people of South Sudan.

“Due to the fragmentation of the SPLM party, our people including the youth-particularly in Western Equatoria State-have been polarized, and the whole population in Western Equatoria is divided on political party ideology…….I am taking that political decision on behalf of the NMC family because I want peace and social cohesion among South Sudanese people and to stop suspicion against the people of Western Equatoria State,” Bakasoro announced during a press conference on Thursday, Radio Tamazuj reports.

Acknowledging the effects of his political backflip, the politician said: “I am appealing to all our people, supporters, and our diehards to bear with us and accept the decision. We shall be blamed, we shall be hated, we shall be laughed at, yet we shall prevail over odds for the sake and unity of SPLM and South Sudanese people.”

Bakasoro stressed the need to implement the revitalized peace agreement.

“I urge you all parties to the peace agreement to continue with the implementation despite the fact that it is very slow, all will be well in the future. Therefore, today we are no longer opposition, we are SPLM members. If we had done things which were wrong, forgive us and we apologize for that. SPLM did something wrong to me, I have forgiven SPLM,” he said.

He appealed to the hold-out groups to stop fighting and come back home to contribute to the struggle to fix the country’s challenges, Radio Tamzuj reports.

The Governor of Eastern Equatoria State, Luis Lobong who spoke on behalf of SPLM during the press conference, thanked and appreciated Bakasoro’s decision to return to the party. He disclosed that he played a role in engaging him to come back to SPLM.