SPLM-N annuls earlier statement, is ‘ready to negotiate’ with Sudan govt.

The National Leadership Council of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) has cancelled a decision by the Nuba Mountains Liberation Council, the movement’s highest political authority in South Kordofan.

The National Leadership Council of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), headed by Malik Agar, has cancelled a decision by the Nuba Mountains Liberation Council (NMLC), the movement's highest political authority in South Kordofan.

Friction within the rebel movement surfaced in March when its Deputy-Chairman Abdelaziz El Hilu resigned from his position. He accused Yasir Arman, SPLM-N Secretary-General and chief negotiator, of disregarding the issue of self-determination for the Nuba Mountains in the peace talks with Khartoum. Five days later, the NMLC announced its support for El Hilu’s stance, and relieved Arman of his positions as secretary-general and chief negotiator.

On Saturday, the NMLC announced a decision to freeze the peace negotiation process with Sudan’s government “until internal arrangements are completed after an extraordinary general conference has been convened”.

In a statement today, SPLM-N chairman Agar announces that the movement’s National Leadership Council decided in a meeting to cancel the decisions of the NMCL, and to establish a new temporary joint committee to manage the affairs in Two Areas (South Kordofan and the Blue Nile) for six months.

The Leadership Council also agreed not to accept the resignation of El Hilu and resolved to form a committee to meet with him.

Negotiations, ceasefire

In the statement, the SPLM-N leadership further stress their adherence to the movement’s political convictions and negotiation positions as declared before.

The SPLM-N leaders state they are “immediately ready to negotiate the issue of humanitarian aid provision” to the two war-torn areas, and as well meet with representatives of the new US administration.

They declare the extension of the Movement’s unilateral cessation of hostilities until 30 June, and demand the members of the AU mediation team (the AU High-level Implementation Panel-AUHIP), chaired by Thabo Mbeki, to hold consultations in the rebel-held areas of the Blue Nile and the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan.

Sudan Appeal, Darfur

According to the statement, a delegation will be formed, headed by the SPLM-N’s chairman, for the consultations of the AUHIP with the heads of the Sudan Appeal parties in Addis Ababa. Furthermore, the SPLM-N has decided to form a National Liberation Council, and a general assembly will take place soon. In addition, the movement has established a new military front in Darfur.

The Sudan Revolutionary Front, an alliance of Sudan’s main rebel movements headed by Agar, signed the Sudan Appeal, a two-page document calling for regime-change and democracy, in Addis Ababa in December 2014. The National Umma Party, the National Consensus Forces, a coalition of opposition parties, and the Civil Society Initiative signed the document as well. Other Sudanese parties and civil society groups joined the Appeal in the following year.