January 18, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) has proposed to task an African mediation team led by Thabo Mbeki with the two crises of Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan .
- The chief mediator of the African Union’s High Level Implementation Panel, Thabo Mbeki (Getty)
A SPLM-N delegation headed by its chairman Malik Agar and its secretary general Yasir Arman is currently in Washington for talks with US special envoy for Sudan Princeton Lyman about the humanitarian crisis in South Kordofan and Blue Nile and a political solution for the conflict in the two areas.
In statements he made from Washington on Friday, Yasir Arman said they held a series of meetings with Lyman and his team to tackle the humanitarian situation and ways to end the conflict peacefully.
He disclosed that they proposed to gather the issues of two Areas and Darfur and to task the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) led by Thabo Mbeki with the Sudanese file in a bid to reach an all-inclusive settlement.
Arman added that this holistic approach would allow to avoid a partial solution.
The US Administration thought to convince the SPLM-N rebels to engage direct talks with the Sudanese government in Addis Ababa where the African mediation brokers a parallel process between their former South Sudanese allies who rule in Juba and Khartoum government over post-independence issues.
The international community believes that the priority should be given to the normalisation of relations between the two countries and once the disputed issues are resolved it can support the two neighbours to establish democratic regimes.
However, the Sudanese rebel groups including the SPLM-N think that toppling the regime of President Omer Al-Bashir will allow them to restore democracy in Sudan and settle peacefully the differences between the two countries over the disputed border areas and Abyei.
Arman said the regime has two options either to accept a peaceful change negotiated with all the opposition and armed forces or "we will bring down this regime as Mubarak and Ben Ali regimes fell".
"The regime has to choose", he added.
The rebel groups recently released a political agreement with the opposition parties, but the latter raised reservations on the New Dawn charter and said more consultations are needed.
Alluding to this position, Arman emphasised that the rebel movements will continue to mobilise a broad front to topple the regime and would continue to work with those who agree with them on this platform.
Regarding the humanitarian issue, the rebel leader said they reiterated their proposition of humanitarian access to the rebel held areas for cessation of hostilities agreement with Khartoum.
However Khartoum has already rejected this proposal stressing they need to control the whole humanitarian process and refuse to engage talks with the SPLM-N before the military disengagement with the South Sudanese government.
The SPLM-N rebels on the other hand warned that they control 40% of the border between Sudan and South Sudan and they would not abide by the operationalisation of the buffer zone between the two countries.
Arman said they met with some congressmen including Donald Milford Payne, Jr. who is the son of the late Donald Payne who was known for his positions against Khartoum government over Darfur issue and his support for the SPLM in South Sudan.
He also said they met with the team of John Kerry, who will start performing his duties as Secretary State on 24 January, after the resignation of Hilary Clinton.