The Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) faction led by Abdelaziz El Hilu will meet with the African Union High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) in the capital of Ethiopia this week.
In a press statement today, SPLM-N spokesman Arnu Ngutulu Lodi reported that a delegation “chaired by Comrade Ammar Amun Daldum” departed to Addis Ababa today.
Together with Deputy-chairman Abdallah Ibrahim Abbas, Secretary Dr Ahmed Abdelrahman Saeed, and Kuku Gagdoul, Sila Mousa Kanji, and El Jak Mahmoud, he will meet with the members of the AUHIP, chaired by former South African President Thabo Mbeki, and other AU diplomats to brief them on the situation “in the liberated areas” in Blue Nile and South Kordofan.
“The delegation also will correct some misinformation and clarify facts that others are trying to distort,” the spokesman stated. “In addition the delegation will explain the preparatory process for the upcoming extraordinary SPLM-N national convention.”
Lodi concluded the statement by denying that the delegation will enter peace talks with the ruling National Congress Party, as some media reports claim.
In late March, problems with the SPLM-N leadership surfaced, when the then Deputy Chairman Abdelaziz El Hilu submitted his resignation. He accused Secretary-General Yasir Arman, the movement’s chief negotiator, of disregarding the issue of self-determination for the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan in the peace talks.
In early July, the Nuba Mountains Liberation Council temporarily tasked El Hilu with the leadership of the movement after relieving Chairman Malik Agar and Arman from their posts. The Blue Nile Liberation Council partially agreed to this decision.
The rift in the SPLM-N is undermining an already stalemated two-track peace process with the Sudanese government under auspices of the AUHIP. The USA-based Enough Project stated in in an elaborate report early August that the leadership paralysis within the movement and the risks of further civil strife are directly impeding the SPLM-N’s internal crisis and humanitarian response mechanisms.
On 2 August, El Hilu declared a unilateral ceasefire for six months. Three days later, El Sadig El Mahdi, President of the National Umma Party, called on him to accept the US proposal for the delivery of aid to the war-affected areas in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.