Sudan People's Liberation Army
Learn more about Sudan People's Liberation Army
- SPLA redirects here; for information on the Sahrawi Popular Army of Liberation, see Polisario Front.
As a rebel group it was formed in 1983 by John Garang de Mabior, Salva Kiir Mayardit, William Nyuon Bany and Kerubino Kuanyin Bol. It has since fought against the governments of Gaafar Nimeiry, Sadiq al-Mahdi and President Omar Hasan Ahmad al-Bashir in what is now called the Second Sudanese Civil War. Its was led by John Garang, a Dinka, until his death on 30 July, 2005. The political wing of the SPLA is the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (Al-Harakat Ash-Shaabia Le Tahreer As-Sudan), today a political party.
The SPLA is largely southern-based, non-Arabic and non-Muslim, in contrast to the predominantly Muslim and Arab north. Its declared aim is to establish a democratic Sudan with it as the leading party in control of the southern areas. While the war in southern Sudan has been largely described in religious and ethnic terms, it is also a struggle for control of the oil resources located in the south and the west.
In the early 1990s the SPLA divided into three factions: the SPLA-Torit faction led by founder John Garang; Carabino Kuany Bol's SPLA Bahr-al-Ghazal faction; and the SPLA-United led by Riek Machar and Lam Akol. These internal divisions hampered negotiations with the government. A subfaction of SPLA-United, the South Sudan Independence Movement/Army. and several smaller factions signed a separate peace agreement with Khartoum in April 1997 and formed the United Democratic Salvation Front (UDSF).
The Sudanese government had accused Uganda and Eritrea of supporting the SPLA. The group are alleged to have operated on the Ugandan side of the Sudanese border with Uganda at the southern limit of Sudan.
 External links
- Official website of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army
- Federation of American Scientists page
- State Department archive on Sudan Project before January 2001
- Description of SPLA/M from pro-rebel bias.
- Garang's Death: Implications for Peace in Sudan by the International Crisis Group, August 9, 2005 (PDF)cs:Súdánská lidově osvobozenecká armáda