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SPLM-N to hold summit with Darfur rebel groups

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August 27, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The secretary-general of the armed opposition Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), Yasir Arman, has fulminated against the rule of the National Congress Party (NCP) and revealed preparations to convene a summit between his party and rebel groups from Sudan’s western Darfur region.

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SPLM northern sector’s deputy chairman Abdul Aziz Al-Hilu (L) chairman Malik Aggar (C) and secretary-general Yasir Arman (FILE-ST)

In an interview with the London-based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, Arman accused the NCP of re-igniting the war in the country’s southern region of Kordofan and seeking to do likewise in the Blue Nile State.

Sudan’s army has been at war with SPLM-N fighters in South Kordofan State since early June. The conflict erupted after Sudan threatened to disarm SPLM-N fighters who were previously aligned with South Sudan which declared full independence in July.

The country’s president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir announced a two-week unilateral ceasefire in the region, as efforts to defuse the crisis through negotiations stalled.

Arman said that the NCP was the biggest armed political party in the country, adding that the party must be disarmed and allow the country to construct impartial and professional armed forces.

“It [the NCP] is the party of wars and its history is awash with the wars it spawns and seeks to export to different regions of Sudan,” he said.

He further revealed that arrangements were underway to hold a summit between the SPLM-N and Darfur rebel groups as part of preparations for joint work.

The SPLM-N and rebel groups from Darfur, the scene of another armed conflict in western Sudan, recently forged an alliance with the goal of toppling the government in Khartoum.

The deal included two factions of Darfur rebel Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) amid negotiations to include the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), another Darfur rebel group.

Arman, in a separate interview with Sudan Tribune this week, cast doubts on the seriousness of Al-Bashir’s truce, saying that it is “a public relations stunt” aiming to hoodwink the international community and conceal an imminent army offensive in the region.

(ST)

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