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Arman warns against attempts to exclude SPLM-N Agar from Sudan’s Two Areas process

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SPLM-N Agar deputy chairman Yasir Arman speaks at Chatham House in London on 17 January 2018 (ST Photo)
January 17, 2018 (LONDON) - Yasir Arman, the deputy chairman of North (SPLM-N) Agar Wednesday warned against any attempt to exclude their group from the peace process to end the six-year conflict in the Two Areas.

"The mediation and the international community should take seriously that the peace process should include both factions," said Arman at an event at Chatham House in London.

He was reacting to unconfirmed reports about ongoing efforts by the Sudanese government to organize a new round of talks with the SPLM-N led by Abdel Aziz al-Hilu.

The SPLM-N has split into two factions after the resignation of al-Hilu from his position as deputy chairman accusing the group’s chairman and the then secretary general of ignoring his demand to include self-determination in the African Union-brokered negotiations with Khartoum.

Arman underscored that the peace talks should be on the basis of the UN Security Council Resolution 2046 and the African Union’s subsequent resolutions, adding it should also be based on what has been agreed by the two parties and the mediations including the "Framework and cessation of hostilities documents".

"Trying to isolate any of the parties will repeat the past experience in Abuja and elsewhere. It is an encouragement for the continuation of war, and it will create a great doubt on the process itself," he further stressed.

The SPLM-N al-Hilu which is backed by the military leadership of the rebel group in the Nuba Mountains says they want to include the self-determination in the agenda of the negotiations.

Also, the group wants the humanitarian assistance to be transported directly from outside Sudan, putting aside all that the government negotiated with the SPLM-N negotiating team up to August 2016.

Last October after an extraordinary conference organized in the Nuba Mountains to elect al-Hilu as the new chairman for his group, the Sudanese government rejected al-Hilu’s faction demands, saying they would adhere to the framework agreement reached during the past rounds.

The split of the SPLM-N complicates the mediation efforts for a ’comprehensive solution’ in Sudan, an approach its chair Thabo Mbeki defended for several years before to merge the Darfur and Two Areas in one process.

The AUHIP didn’t issue a statement on a meeting between the Sudanese warring parties but last week the Sudanese government spoke about a meeting with the SPLM-N al-Hilu next February.

(ST)

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