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SPLMN-Agar denies contacting Khartoum to resume peace talks

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SPLM-N leader Malik Agar (2L) attends a graduation ceremony for SPLA-N fighters in Blue Nile State on 29 January 2017 - (ST photo)

July 29, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLMN-Agar) has denied reports that it has notified the Sudanese government of its readiness to resume talks on the Two Areas.

The Sudanese army has been fighting the SPLM-N in the South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, 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.

The Khartoum-based Al-Watan newspaper Saturday has published a report saying the SPLMN-Agar led by Malik Agar has informed the government of its readiness to resume the peace talks.

In a press release extended to Sudan Tribune Saturday SPLMN-Agar spokesperson Mubarak Ardol said Al-Watan’s report is “totally false”, pointing it is fabricated by “the security apparatus of the regime”.

“We have nothing to do with the National Congress Party government. We are dealing with African mediation,” said Ardol.

He pointed out the SPLMN-Agar met with the African mediation last month, saying we underscored our rejection to engage in any political talks with the government.
“We reiterated our position and readiness to sit to solve the humanitarian issue,” he said.

“Moreover, we clearly stated the Roadmap Agreement is no longer valid after the government has destroyed it and we wouldn’t join [President] al-Bashir’s call to draft the constitution and this the position of the Sudan Call forces,” he added.
Ardol further stressed his movement’s joint stance with all political forces seeking to overthrow the regime.

Earlier this year, the SPLM-N has split into two groups over the demand of self-determination made by its former deputy chairman Abdel Aziz al-Hilu who is now the leader of the other faction.

In a letter handed over earlier this month to the head of the African Union High Implementation Panel (AUHIP) Thabo Mbeki, SPLMN-Agar reiterated 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 COH agreement.

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

(ST)

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