SPLM-N Agar to boycott JPA conference in Sudan capital

Malik Agar, Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North faction leader and vice president of the Sovereignty Council (File photo: social media)


The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North faction  under the leadership of Malik Agar (SPLM-N Agar), announced their boycott of the Juba Peace Agreement (JPA) conference which began in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on Tuesday, due to the selection of participants in the workshop.

Spokesperson for the *SPLM-N Agar, Saad Abdallah, told Radio Dabanga yesterday that they reject “the attempt to flood the peace agreement with a political agenda, because the invitations were directed improperly”.

Abdallah explained that the JPA, signed by the Sudanese government, the Sudan Revolutionary Front alliance of 13 rebel groups in Juba on October 3, 2020, includes mechanisms for its review and possible amendments.

The rebel spokesperson warned of “the dire consequences of not implementing the JPA” and appealed to the international community “to support the implementation of all protocols of the agreement”.

He accused unnamed parties of seeking to dominate Sudan’s political process.

Abdallah further emphasised the cohesion of the members of the Sudan Revolutionary Front, “despite differences in views regarding participation in the JPA conference”.

Separate workshop

Agar reported that the South Sudanese mediation team has invited all the 14 signatories to the JPA, including the government to a two-part workshop in Juba in February.

“The Juba workshop consists of two meetings. The first, for the mediators, is scheduled for 10 to 13 February, and the second, for the signatories, from 15 to 18 February,” he said. “The outcomes of the workshop will be announced in the presence of the presidents of the two countries.”

He explained that the South Sudanese mediation team is “the only body that can bring the peace parties together. The FFC alliance does not have the right to do so because it is not a government agency”.

The SPLM-N Agar will also not take part in the inter-Sudanese dialogue organised by Egypt this week.

Cairo inter-Sudanese workshop

Mustafa Tambour, a former member of the holdout Sudan Liberation Movement under the leadership of Abdelwahid El Nur (SLM-AW), lauded the Egyptian initiative. He told Radio Dabanga that the importance of the Cairo workshop lies in “bringing together different political forces”.

He stated Egypt has the best chance of mediating between the Sudanese parties and managing a comprehensive Sudanese-Sudanese dialogue, “given its strategic relations with Sudan”.

Much like Agar, Tambour played down the importance of the conference on the JPA, that started in Khartoum on Tuesday. Stating that, “it does not have any value because the participating parties have nothing to do with the JPA and are not interested in discussing it”.

*In March 2017, the SPLM-N split into two factions, after Nuba rebel leader Abdelaziz El Hilu resigned. The faction headed by Malik Agar is stationed in Blue Nile region. The SPLM-N El Hilu continued, with most of the SPLM-N combatants, fighting the government of Al Bashir from the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan, and separately joined peace talks in Juba, which stalled. The two factions fought heavy battles after the split. The SPLM-N El Hilu that also has supporters in Blue Nile region, claims that the SPLM-N Agar “does not control any territory” in South Kordofan or Blue Nile region.

August 2022, the SPLM-N Agar announced a new split in its ranks. In a joint statement, Malik Agar and his deputy Yasir Arman announced that during a meeting organised by rebel leader El Hadi Idris in Khartoum they “amicably” agreed to split. They made it clear that the two sides of the dispute had concluded that the issues in dispute were too fundamental to continue their cooperation.