October 2, 2012 (KHARTOUM) — Head of Sudanese negotiating team with Sudan People’s Liberation Movement- North (SPLM-N) said talks with the rebel group can start only after their total disengagement with South Sudan.
- A SPLM-N fighter stands near Gos village in the rebel-held territory of the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan, May 1, 2012. (Reuters)
Sudan and SPLM-N were refusing to negotiate a peaceful settlement to their conflict over the implementation of a protocol pertaining to the Two Areas of South Kordofan and Blue Nile after Khartoum’s rejection of a framework agreement reached in June 2011.
After a UN resolution 2046 adopted last May, they held talks over the humanitarian access to the rebel areas and signed a deal last August but it remains unimplemented. On the political level the process is stalled as the SPLM-N demands a comprehensive talks and on the other hand, Khartoum demands that Juba stops first its support to the rebels.
In a briefing to Sudanese parliament, Kamal Obeid, who leads the government’s delegation for the talks with rebel group said that negotiations with the SPLM-N depend on the implementation of a security deal signed with the South Sudan which provides that Juba disengage militarily with the former members of the South Sudanese army, SPLA.
Following the briefing, Al-Basha Mohamed Al-Basha, a MP from South Kordofan state, told reporters that Kamal linked the negotiations with the disengagement between SPLM-N rebels and Juba.
After the signing of the deal, Sudan’s Defence minister Abdel-Rahim Hussein said that the security agreement with South Sudan includes a provision on the disengagement between the South Sudanese army and its "ninth and tenth divisions" in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, a mention to the SPLM-N rebels.
Al Basha furtehr said that some voices asked also to remove South Kordofan governor Ahmed Haroun from his position, considering he is accountable of the current crisis with the SPLM-N. He added that many others defended the governor for his efforts to bring stability in the state.
Haroun is blamed for his strong relations in the past with the SPLM-N deputy chairman Abdel Aziz Al-Hilu. Several tribal leaders previously demanded to relieve him but he is supported by the president Omer Al-Bashir.
Ahmed Krmeno, another member of the negotiating team, and former governor of Blue Nile state, told reporters that the meeting agreed that no talks with the rebels unless Juba relieves all the leaders of SPLM-N from its army and take decisions similar to what Khartoum did with the former militia leaders and southerners who were part of the Sudanese army.
"We are waiting from Juba, if it is serious, to disengage with the SPLM-N practically and constitutionally, economically and socially," he said.