Home | News    Saturday 28 May 2016

SPLM-N denies rift with Umma Party over meeting with AU mediation

May 27, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudan People’s Liberating Movement-North (SPLM-N) Secretary General, Yasir Arman has denied there is a rift at the heart of the opposition coalition ’’Sudan Call’’ after a recent meeting between the leader of the National Umma Party (NUP) Sadiq al-Mahdi and the African Union Chief Mediator Thabo Mbeki.

JPEG - 21.7 kb
Malik Agar, SRF leader (L) and Sadiq al-Mahdi NUP president shake hands after the signing of Paris Declaration on 8 August 2014 (ST Photo)

Earlier this week several newspapers in Khartoum published statements allegedly attributed to the NUP Secretary General Sara Nugdalla slamming the SPLM-N for objecting a meeting between al-Mahdi and Mbeki to discuss the opposition’s rejection of a peace plan the latter proposed last March.

In written statements extended to Sudan Tribune Friday, Arman said the SPLM-N didn’t object the meeting but interacted positively and made some proposals together with other opposition groups.

He disclosed that the meeting was held under the request of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), adding that al-Mahdi and NUP leadership are on a continuous and direct contact with the SPLM, and Sudan Call leaders.

’’Al-Mahdi enjoys our respect and we are consulting each other to strengthen joint action’’. He further added they are in almost daily contact with the NUP leadership.

Arman further pointed an accusing finger to the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) and the government controlled newspapers, saying they are behind these fabricated statements "to cover the failure of the dialogue" conference in Khartoum.

He further said they have no problem with the African Union mediation.

"The SPLM-N does not have a fight with the AUHIP and ready to meet them, but we will not accept to join (the government controlled dialogue process in Khartoum),’’ he stressed.

Last March, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), NUP, Sudan Liberation Movement - Minni Minnawi (SPLM-MM) and the SPLM-N rejected a Roadmap Agreement brokered by the mediation and signed by the Sudanese government.

The peace plan provides to hold a cessation of hostilities, that Khartoum had longtime rejected, and to open humanitarian access to reach civilians in the war affected areas. However, it ignores some confidence building measures included in a previous roadmap endorsed by the AU Peace and Security Council in September 2014.

So, the opposition groups demand to hold an inclusive pre-dialogue meeting in order to discuss a package of conducive environment measures of the AUPSC decision 465. Also they criticize the Roadmap Agreement for endorsing the ongoing dialogue process in Khartoum as basis for the national constitutional dialogue process they call for.

The rebel leader also admitted that the ongoing multi front military campaign launched by the Sudanese army on their positions in Blue Nile and South Kordofan states is the largest military attack since 2011.

However, he said they inflected unprecedented losses on the Sudanese army, pointing that Khartoum hoped at least to retake the control of the SPLM-N controlled areas in the Blue Nile State, but they failed to achieve this goal.

On the other hand, he condemned the indiscriminate aerial bombardment of civilian areas in South Kordofan and warned that the dropped bombs also "hit Sudan’s unity and lead to tear the national fabric".

The SPLM-N recently organized a campaign against the bombing of civilian-inhabited villages locations in the rebel held areas.

(ST)