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Enough calls to investigate attacks on civilians in SPLM-N areas

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IDPs gather to receive food provided by the WFP during a visit by a EU delegation, at an IDP camp in Azaza, east of Ed Damazin, Blue Nile state, October 21, 2015. (Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters Photo)

July 21, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The U.S. based advocacy group Enough Project has called on the SPLM-N divided factions to probe attacks on civilians in the rebel held areas in the Blue Nile State and hold accountable the perpetrators.

Following a leadership crisis within the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement- North (SPLM-N) that erupted earlier this year, reports emerged last May about clashes between SPLM-N fighters from Ingessana tribe of Malik Agar and others from Uduk who declared their support for Abdel Aziz al-Hilu.

Dozens of civilians were killed and hundreds fled to refugees camps in Maban in the Upper Nile state, South Sudan.

A new report authored by Enough Project Senior Advisor Suliman Baldo has called on the two factions of the SPLM-N and the international community to urgently address ethnic violence and humanitarian conditions resulting from its leadership divisions.

“The SPLM-N leaders must address the deadly violence their own personal disputes have unleashed," Baldo said. He further called to allow an independent human rights investigation into the circumstances that led to the fighting between units of the movement’s army in the Blue Nile and to inter-communal violence among refugees in Doro and Gendrassa camps in late May.

"All those identified by such an investigation as responsible for the violence should be held to account,” he further stressed.

The SPLMN-Agar last month accused al-Hilu of seeking to get the support of the Uduk to his "coup d’état".

The crisis emerged earlier this year when al-Hilu filed his resignation to the Nuba Mountains Liberation Council expressing his opposition to the agenda of the peace talks with the government and accused the SPLM-N secretary general and chief negotiator of refusing to include the right of self-determination.

The leadership crisis, however, threatens to undermine the peace process where the mediators seek to bring the parties to sign a desperately needed cessation of hostilities to provide humanitarian assistance to the civilians in the conflict affected areas.

John Prendergast, Founding Director at the Enough Project, called on the regional and international actors to engage with the two factions in this SPLM-N dispute and "not remain on the sidelines".

"External actors should actively encourage both of these opposition factions to resolve their differences in ways that would spare their constituencies the worst risks, address the worsening humanitarian situation in the Two Areas," he said.

He further pointed that such constructive engagement will reinvigorate the African Union brokered process with the Sudanese government which "can result in a lasting and just peace for all Sudanese people".

(ST)

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