January 25, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The Secretary General of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement - North (SPLM-N) Tuesday has called for a new political process and requested the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution committing the Sudanese parties to the implementation of the international humanitarian law.
Yasir Aram made his call during a closed informal meeting through a video conference with the UN Security Council to explain the Movement’s position on the humanitarian and peace talks with the Sudanese government.
The informal meeting was attended by the UN Security Council members and UN "experts in the areas under discussion within the Council".
The discussion took place after statements by U.S. Special Envoy Donald Booth saying the rebel group declined a humanitarian proposal providing that USAID delivers humanitarian medical assistance to civilians in the conflict areas of South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.
In his speech the SPLM-N secretary general blamed the Sudanese government saying it breached the Roadmap Agreement brokered by the African Union High level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), "leaving us with no credible political alternative".
Also, he said the government declined to deliver on its humanitarian commitments despite the signing of two humanitarian agreements signed in February 2012 and August 2013 in implementation of the Security Council resolution 2046, adding that Khartoum uses "the denial of humanitarian assistance as part of its war strategy".
Arman who is also the SPLM-N chief negotiator underscored that they ask now to separate the humanitarian issue from the political agenda because during the five-year peace process it became obvious that the political solution would take more time and this will be at the expense of the humanitarian urgency of the situation in the Two Areas.
"Consequently, the SPLM/N decided it will never link the two issues again, and the priority, in accordance with International Humanitarian Law, should be addressing the humanitarian situation by delivering urgent assistance," he said.
NEW POLITICAL PROCESS
Last August, the government and the armed groups in Darfur and the Two Areas failed to reach a humanitarian cessation of hostilities deal paving the way for political talks including the political opposition parties.
Since, the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and its allies in the government and several opposition groups held the National Dialogue Conference. The out of the conference "the National Document" include a number of political and constitutional reforms and the formation of a national consensus government.
After the end of the conference, President Omer al-Bashir told the AUHIP chief that the holdout opposition forces, including the SPLM-N can join the framework text and participate in its implementation during the transitional period.
However, Arman told the informal meeting that the African Union mediation, AUHIP need to propose a new political process based on the signed Roadmap Agreement.
In line with the road map the government and the rebels have to sign a cessation of hostilities and humanitarian access agreements first. Also, the government will discuss with them and the opposition holdout political parties additional confidence building measures to create a conducive environment in the country before to hold an inclusive constitutional process inside the country.
"We are asking you to engage seriously with both the government and the opposition; this is especially timely and likely to yield positive results, as important regional countries, such as Ethiopia, Uganda, South Sudan, Kenya and Chad; and other regional and international actors are currently reinforcing the peace process," he said.
He also stressed on the need to for the AUHIP to prioritize the humanitarian access to the Two Areas and to resolve first due the deteriorated situation there.
"Taking into consideration how the Sudan government manipulated humanitarian access and delivery in the Darfur region, the Security Council should pass a resolution calling on the two parties to commit themselves to the implementation of the international humanitarian law, on resolving the issue of humanitarian access, in order to ensure immediate unhindered speedy access," he said.
U.S. HUMANITARIAN PROPOSAL
Regarding the proposal of the U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan, Donald Booth on the humanitarian access, Arman said that proposal was made on the request of the Sudan government to by-pass the AUHIP’s proposal.
According to Arman, the mediation "urged the Sudan Government to accept Asosa in Ethiopia as an outlet for 20% of the humanitarian assistance into the Two-Areas, and the bulk of it be cross-lined from inside Sudan".
However, they welcomed the American proposal and proposed a few amendments, "but our efforts clashed with the end of the Obama administration," he said.
He said they will "positively engage President Trump’s administration" within the regional and international efforts to end war in sudan and achieve democratic changes.
In a speech delivered on 18 January, Ambassador Booth cricized the SPLM-N for its rejection of his humanitarian proposal saying they should put their people first not their political ambitions.