Democracy and Liberation Movements: The Case of the SPLAby
The Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) has been fighting a succession of Khartoum governments since 1983. Though its stated goal is to build a unified “new Sudan,” it is widely perceived as representing the interests of the south, where most of its fighting is done and which it now almost entirely controls.
After more than eight years of remarkable cohesiveness, the SPLA witnessed its first serious coup attempt on August 28, 1991. Since it posed no immediate threat to the rule of SPLA commander-in-chief John Garang, in conventional terms the coup was a failure. But it raised issues of crucial importance to the SPLA, to Sudan, and to all liberational and nationalist movements, issues which are rarely acknowledged and even more rarely tackled.