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SPLM-N freezes peace talks with Sudan govt.

April 3 - 2017 NUBA MOUNTAINS
SPLM-N chairman Malik Agar and Secretary-General Yasir Arman meet rebel leaders in the Nuba Mountains, 25 March 2017 (SPLM-N)
SPLM-N chairman Malik Agar and Secretary-General Yasir Arman meet rebel leaders in the Nuba Mountains, 25 March 2017 (SPLM-N)

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) has decided to suspend the peace negotiations with the Sudanese government until its internal rift has been solved.

In a statement on Saturday, the Nuba Mountains Liberation Council (NMLC), the movement's highest political authority in South Kordofan, announced its decision to freeze the peace negotiation process with Sudan’s government “until internal arrangements are completed after the convening of an extraordinary general conference”.

The Council confirmed in the statement, signed by Deputy-Head Najla Abdelwahid, that the five-day meeting with SPLM-N Chairman Malik Agar and Secretary-General Yasir Arman in a rebel-held area in South Kordofan ended up with the agreement of the parties that the solution of the internal rift requires the presence of Deputy-Chairman Abdelaziz El Hilu as a key party.  

On 17 March, El Hilu resigned, accusing Arman, who is also head of the SPLM-N negotiation team with Khartoum, of disregarding the issue of self-determination for the Nuba Mountains in the peace talks. Five days later, the NMLC announced its support for El Hilu’s stance, and relieved Arman from his positions as secretary-general and chief negotiator.

In an attempt to contain the rift, Agar and Arman travelled to an SPLM-N site in South Kordofan's Nuba Mountains last Sunday to meet with the movement’s political and military leadership. They issued a statement on Friday in which they stressed the unity of the movement and its adherence to the positions of its negotiating team with the Sudanese government.

The government negotiation team for the Two Areas (South Kordofan and Blue Nile) in Khartoum warned for the delay of the next round of negotiations on Sunday. They urged the SPLM-N to settle its internal crises as soon as possible.

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