Home | News    Thursday 8 June 2017

SPLM-N RIFT: Nuba body appoints Hilu as leader of S. Kordofan rebels


File photo for Abdel Aziz al-Hlu in the Nuba Mountains on 8 November 2014 (ST Photo)
June 7, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The Nuba Mountains Liberation Council (NMLC), an SPLM-N political body in the South Kordofan State on Wednesday has decided to remove Malik Agar from the leadership of the group and replaced him by his deputy Abdel Aziz al-Hilu.

The move, which has all the characteristics of a split in the rebel group, has deepened the crisis that emerged last March when al-Hilu resigned from his position as a deputy chairman accusing the secretary-general Yasir Arman of disregarding his demand to include the self-determination in the agenda of peace negotiations.

Following what the NMLC announced its support of al-Hilu’s demand for self-determination and relieved Arman from his position as secretary-general and chief negotiator.

Agar and Arman sought to contain the move and held a series of meeting with the NMLC and the military command of the group led by the SPLA-N Chief of Staff Jacod Mekouar.

Following a meeting held in the Nuba Mountains, the South Kordofan body issued a number of decisions signed by the NMLC chairman, Omer Rambawi, providing the removal of Agar from his post as chairman of the Movement and general commander of its Army.

The Nuba council also decided to prevent Agar and Yasir Arman’s entry to the SPLM-N controlled areas in South Kordofan State.

On the other hand, the council formally appointed Abdel Aziz Adam al-Hilu as the Movement’s leader and general commander of the SPLA-N and entrusted him to complete the national structure of the movement until the general conference.

The final communiqué of the meeting of the regional Liberation Council provided the merits of the removal of Agar and Arman, citing their refusal to include the right of self-determination for the Nuba Mountains in negotiations with the government. Further, it pointed to Agar’s rejection of the previous NMLC decisions related to Arman’s dismissal from his positions and accused Agar of being behind the recent clashes in the SPLM-N held areas in the Blue Nile state.


In a lengthy internal message addressed to the SPLM-N and SPLA-N commanders, civil administrations in the Two Areas, on Monday, Agar has accused his deputy al-Hilu of seeking to divide the Movement and its Army and install himself as chairman of the SPLM-N.

In the internal note seen by Sudan Tribune, the SPLM-N chairman further described details of the differences within the SPLM-N.

He said that al-Hilu, despite his resignation, continued to work at a feverish pace to create internal dissent and install himself as chairman of the Movement, disclosing the latter has once again sent a message to the Nuba Mountains calling to hold another meeting for the NMLC.

“In addition to being illegal, this call will aggravate the situation and won’t lead to solutions. We are aware of all the decisions he intends to make, including the appointment of a new chairman and new leadership and assistance,” he said.

“As chairman of the Movement, and with me the current secretary general, we decided not to run for any executive office at any future SPLM-N conference and to support a new generation of leaders and the unity of the SPLM-N,” he added.

Agar accused al-Hilu of seeking to stage a coup within the movement’s organs, saying he tried hard to use the ethnic and tribal contradictions to achieve that end.

He added the internal fight within the SPLM-N ranks in the Blue Nile was a product of al-Hilu’s recent actions, saying he actively sought to ignite tribal difference among the Movement’s leadership and members in the state.

Agar further warned against repeating the same scenario in the Nuba Mountain.

Late last month, clashes erupted in the Blue Nile between SPLM-N fighters and breakaway factions who declared the dismissal of Agar. The fighting later moved to refugee camps where each party sought to mobilise supporters along tribal and ethnic lines.

At the time, the SPLM-N described the fighting as an attempt to overturn the entire political and military heritage of the Movement and its vision and transform it into a regional movement, saying the behaviour of this group is more dangerous than the war against the government.

South Kordofan and the neighbouring Blue Nile state, also known as the Two Areas have been the scene of violent conflict between the SPLM-N and Sudanese army since 2011.

Talks between the two sides for a cessation of hostilities and humanitarian access are stalled since last August.


Meanwhile, Agar said the call for self-determination in the Nuba Mountain is not part of the New Sudan project, saying it would work against the interests of the residents of the Two Areas.

He added the call for self-determination became “no longer attractive after the secession of the South Sudan, saying it would isolate the SPLM-N from the national and democratic forces and will divide the Movement into two parts.

According to Agar, the negotiating position of the SPLM-N regarding the two armies was a response to the government’s manoeuvres and attempts to not honour any peace deal that might be signed.

He said the proposal of the Movement to integrate the SPLA-N into a new Sudanese army after restructuring the current army and security organs has foiled the government’s manoeuvres.

Agar added al-Hilu believes that SPLA-N has been sacrificed; saying five members of the Movement’s negotiating team and himself have met with al-Hilu to convince him that his opinion was wrong but he insisted.

He stressed their current negotiating position doesn’t abandon the SPLA-N, saying the establishment of the new Sudanese army could take more than 15 years under the current conditions.

“During this period, the SPLA-N will maintain its presence through a joint defence council,” he said.

Speaking to reporters after informal talks with the government in December 2015, SPLM-N secretary general Yasser Arman said “the SPLM-N proposes the formation of a one professional Sudanese army instead of two armies as was the case in the CPA besides making new transitional security arrangements for the SPLA-N within the framework of reforming and restructuring the unified army”.

It is noteworthy that during all previous rounds of talks on the Two Areas, the Sudanese government demanded a peace agreement that leads to disarm the SPLA-N fighters.

But the rebel group insists on the need to keep its troops during the transitional period of the peace implementation, saying the Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) process can take place once the agreement is fully enforced.

In his resignation dated, al-Hilu disclosed differences among the three executive officers of the national leadership council, saying these differences “went beyond the secondary matters to the principles and orientations”.

He pointed that the major disagreement between himself and Agar and Arman evolve around the Movement’s manifesto and constitution besides the negotiating position, stressing the SPLM-N has been working without manifesto for six years.

Al-Hilu mentioned differences with Arman regarding the Movement’s stance towards the security arrangements with the government.

He disclosed that on the security arrangements, he said that Arman last August handed over to the African Union mediation the same position included in Agar-Nafei agreement of 28 June 2011, while he agreed with him in January 2016 to ask for a 20-year period security arrangements deal.

The factions of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front - Agar including the National Umma Party-Nasreldin al-Mahdi and the eastern Sudan United People’s Front for Liberation and Justice (UPFLJ) have called to preserve the SPLM-N’s unity and its platform for a comprehensive change in Sudan.

Analysts agree that the decisions of the NMLC decisions means the split of the SPLM-N into two factions.

However, they point that the position of the rebel army and its leadership would impact heavily on the fate of the group.


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  • 8 June 2017 07:05, by Wise Fox

    Congratulation General Al-Hilu, for your wise decision to have dismissed the big tummy and his selfish deputy Arman, for they have lost the direction. People of Nuba mountain have right to demand self-determination as it was agreed in 2005 Peace agreement.

    repondre message

  • 8 June 2017 07:14, by Wise Fox

    Agar and Arman have been using Nubian people to fight Salva Kiir’s war, and hundred of them have died in South Sudan rather that dying for their right to achieve their demand of self-determination. Agar and Arman were getting paid by Genocidal regime in Juba in order to defense Jieng’s interest in S Sudan.

    repondre message

    • 8 June 2017 09:08, by Kuch

      Sure Wise Fox, the Nuba Mt & Southern Blue Nile people deserve better than the status quo. But what are you Nuer fellows are fighting for? Same to some Equatorians & Fertits? Remember Wise Fox, some of your Riek Machar’s Nuers & load of other Nuers, all the Fertits, some Shilluks and many Equatorians were fighting the SPLM/A on behave of our so-called cloned arabs of North Sudan>>>

      repondre message

      • 8 June 2017 09:13, by Kuch

        In fact, the only people who stood with the SPLA & died with in the trenches with the Dinkas/Jiengs were the Nuba Mts boys, Mabanese, Buruns & the Funjs of Southern Blue Nile. So what is your Mr. Wise Fox? Are the Nuers fighting for independence Nuer land? What is that Nuer country, the South Sudanese people would let you go & have your damn country>>>

        repondre message

        • 8 June 2017 09:46, by Kuch

          but the Nuers don’t have a country that we would want them to form. Gambella region is not their country, but the Anyuaks’ country; Malakal is not their damn country, but the Apadang Dinkas/Jiengs country; Langecuk is not their country but the Mabans & Buruns country; Akoba is not their country, but the Anyuak country. So what do the losers want? Just their usual attention>>>

          repondre message

          • 8 June 2017 10:03, by Kuch

            and tantrums throwing like little babies about the Dinkas/Jiengs. If people were to be choosing their own
            own people that they want to have blood relation with, then the Dinkas/Jiengs would have got rid of our Nuer cousins relation long long long time ago. Our Nuer cousins see the world in form of *Jaangs vs Nuers*>>>

            repondre message

            • 8 June 2017 10:10, by Kuch

              And our arch enemies have been using our Nuer cousins as their proxies/pawns ever since. But this time around, good luck to our enemies. Some of our Nuer fools, some Equatorians, Fertits, Shilluks and some of their creepy criminals in between want to play game with the Nuers again on their disguise that we would allow the evils into our country with their dirty intrigues>>>

              repondre message

              • 8 June 2017 10:41, by Wise Fox

                I never been a Nuer, nor Dinka, Am from Kingdom and I do support my neighbors Nubian people of S. Kordofan, for they have call for self-determination, such a move can stop Kirr’s madness from wasting our oil monies to pay Agar & Arman, use Nubian people to fight on Kiir’s side for them to get paid.

                repondre message

        • 8 June 2017 12:01, by Whortti Bor Manza

          Mr. Kuch you are big liar. That is why I said Dinkas are good at manipulation, distortions and denial. Listen to what Museveni said recently that Ugandans, Ethiopians and Eritreans participated physically in the war. Yet you are not ashamed of this blatant lies. Curse be upon you Dinkas.

          repondre message

          • 8 June 2017 18:04, by Kuch

            Whortti Bor Manza, your *middle name, ’Bor’* spells like my home town and people of Bor. There are other people with the same name "Bor" in Kenya and Eastern Europe. The word BOR in Dinka/Jenge, means "FLOODS" The people who called BOR are the ANYUAKS people of Pachalla/Pinychalla, Dimmo, Panyudo/pinyudu, Gambella, Jebel Bongo>>>

            repondre message

            • 8 June 2017 18:15, by Kuch

              The *Murles* of *Pi-bor* were welcomed by us into our country in in 1920th from Southern ethiopia. The word "pi" means ’water’ in Anyuak dialect. In my Dinka/Jernge dialect Mr. Whortti Bor Manza, water is called ’pieu’-----no name him/her self chap. We are the Nilotic people of this land>>>>

              repondre message

            • 8 June 2017 19:22, by Whortti Bor Manza

              Bor means water spread in Luo.
              You our kins brothers are making us ashamed.

              repondre message

          • 9 June 2017 13:30, by Garang Akeen Tong

            Whortti bor manza

            You are out of point, maybe you are deaf.

            Maseveni said that, Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya were given Bashir a hot presure, to accept peace nogatiation.

            Mr. Kuc is absolutely right, no doubt that, Dinka, Nuba, Maban, Funj, Burun, Anyuak were fought the country where you are today,
            We are very sads to leave the part of bodies apart.

            repondre message

            • 9 June 2017 13:48, by Garang Akeen Tong

              Cont... No doubt that, our Nuer cusin were merged with khartuom regime to spoils our movement.

              And we don,t have problem with them, even those who were refused to fought Khartuom regim,
              And they are benefiting alot,

              They still causing unrest situation in s.sudan, and true liberators are still suffering.

              repondre message

  • 8 June 2017 16:01, by lino

    My message to the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile’s leaders is to solve such differences in a wise manner without fighting each other for no reason because your GOAL is common!!!
    Don’t let the regime in Khartoum overrun you! You are bigger than what you think.
    Don’t let South Sudan virus attacked you!
    God bless you all!!!

    repondre message

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