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Sudan accuses SPLAM-N of seeking to renege on previous agreements

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SPLM-N negotiating team meet withthe AUHIP ahead of direct talks withthe government on 9 August 2016 (Courtesy Photo of SPLM-N)
July 22, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Spokesperson of the Sudanese government negotiating delegation Hussein Hamdi has accused the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-N) of seeking to wriggle out of previous understandings reached between the two sides.

The semi-official Sudan Media Center (SMC) on Friday quoted Hamdi as saying Sudan has informed the African Union of its readiness to resume talks with the SPLM-N according to the timelines set by African Union High Implementation Panel (AUHIP).

He pointed out that divisions within the SPLM-N have adversely impacted on the residents of the Two Areas and prevented the two sides from reaching a comprehensive agreement particularly with regard to delivering humanitarian assistance to the needy population.

As a result of a rift that started earlier this year and its successive developments, the SPLM-N is now split into two factions one led by Malik Agar and the other by his rival Abdel-Aziz al-Hilu.

Al-Hilu, who gained the support of the Movement’s army, has removed Malik Agar from the leadership of the armed group together with the Secretary General Yasir Arman after they rejected his demand for the self-determination.

Hamdi added the SPLM-N has nothing to offer to resume the talks, saying the rebel movement tries to repudiate previous understandings.

He stressed the talks were based on “binding references”, saying the two sides must adhere to what has been agreed upon in the previous period.

The Sudanese army has been fighting the SPLM-N rebels in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan, also known as the Two Areas since 2011.

Talks between the two sides for a cessation of hostilities and humanitarian access are stalled since last August. The SPLM-N demands to deliver 20% of the humanitarian assistance through a humanitarian corridor from Asosa, an Ethiopian border town.

But the government rejects the idea saying it is a breach of the state sovereignty and a manoeuvre from the rebels to bring arms and ammunition to their locked rebel-held areas in the Two Areas.

Earlier this month, SPLMN-Agar handed over a letter to the head of the AUHIP Thabo Mbeki, reiterating its readiness to engage in talks for a humanitarian cessation of hostilities.

SPLMN-Agar underscored the fact the SPLM-N now is divided into two groups and expressed readiness to form a joint delegation with the SPLMN-al-Hilu for the talks for a humanitarian truce which requires a cession of hostilities agreement.

Nonetheless, it added that the joint delegation depends on an agreement between the two factions.

(ST)

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