SPLM-N conference: Self-determination basis for peace talks
Members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) have reiterated the demand for self-determination during the general conference held in South Kordofan this week. Commander-in-chief Abdelaziz El Hilu has been elected as leader of the SPLM-N, as expected.
The SPLM-N has concluded its Extraordinary General Conference, held in Kauda in the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan, which lasted from Sunday until Thursday. 245 delegates from the rebel group and political parties in South Kordofan and Blue Nile participated.
The participants approved the constitution of the movement, elected Abdelaziz Adam El Hilu as SPLM-N head, Joseph Tukka as his first deputy, Jacod Mekouar as second deputy, and Amar Amoun Deldoum as secretary-general of the rebel movement.
The concluding statement affirmed that the right of self-determination remains, as a means to achieve the group's aspiration for a multicultural and plural nation in Sudan. The members agreed on the need to develop the capacities of a rebel army through an enhanced training and to “continue military operations against the enemy through regular battles to maintain the momentum of the war”, the statement read.
However, the participants decided to close the door for any rapprochement with the other faction of the SPLM-N in Blue Nile state, which is led by former chairman Malik Agar: “The Conference stressed the need for the unity and cohesion of the SPLM-N under the elected leadership and not to pay attention to any groups or platforms that speak in the name of the SPLM.”
The extraordinary general conference was scheduled to start on 6 October. But difficulties to reach the landlocked site in the rebel-hold area delayed the delegates, in combination with organisational matters related to the representation of the different areas outside the Nuba Mountains.
Last March, El Hilu resigned from his position as the SPLM-N deputy chairman and blamed the chief of the peace negotiation delegation, Yasir Arman, of the movement of neglecting his request to include the right to self-determination in the agenda of the peace talks with Khartoum. The Nuba Mountains Liberation Council publicly supported the resignation and replaced leader Agar with his deputy El Hilu, which paved the way for a split in the group.
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