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SPLM-N Agar says committed to ending fighting between comrades

Ahmed al-Omda SPLA-N Agar chief of general staff (C) speaks to his troops in unidentified location in the Blue Nile during a visit from 25-28 March 2018 (ST Photo)

March 29, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North led Malik Agar (SPLM-N Agar) Thursday renewed its commitment to "a unilateral ceasefire declaration and to stop internal fighting between comrades" in the Blue Nile State.

The pledges were made by the SPLA-N Agar chief of staff Gen Ahmed al-Omda during a three-day inspection tour of his troops in Tamfona, Alrom, Malken, Goz-Aljamamat and Ollo areas from 25-to28 March, said a statement extended by the group’s spokesperson Mubarak Ardol.

During the past months, the group issued several statements accusing their former comrades of the SPLM-N led by Abdel Aziz al-Hilu of attacking their positions in the troubled state, an accusation the latter denies. But independent sources confirmed the clashes between the two factions after a split within the group occurred in April 2017.

Gen al-Omda "appreciated the commitment of the Movement’s forces to the directives of SPLM/A leadership to protect the civilians, a unilateral cease-fire and cessation of internal fighting between the comrades," said the statement.

"We must constantly direct the gun to the joint enemy of the Bashir government," al-Omda said, adding "We had hoped that there would be a positive response from our comrades in the other side towards this announcement, but we did not get it. Nevertheless, we will remain committed to what the chairman proclaimed".

Earlier this month, But Sila Moussi Kenji, SPLM-N al-Hilu Secretary of organizational and political affairs denied attacks on Agar forces saying they "have no positions in the whole (SPLM-N controlled) areas in the Blue Nile State".

Also, Gen Stephen Ahmed, SPLA-N al Hilu Deputy Chief of Staff, in a video posted on the Facebook, accused Agar attacking civilians supporting their faction last July, adding they are "in a self-defence situation".

Al-Omda said they welcome the mediation of the UN special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan who proposed a cessation of hostilities.

He also said their fighters are present in the Blue Nile starts in Jebel Klgo which is parallel to the state capital Ed Damazin to Ollo and Tanfona areas south-west of the state.

The statement said the military leader briefed the fighters about the recent Sudan Call meetings in Paris and declared his support to its decisions.

He told the fighters that the Sudan Call is a civil alliance that has nothing to do with the armed struggle.

"We must not confuse between the mechanisms, everyone works in line with its requirements and tools in order to achieve the common goal of overthrowing the regime and bringing a comprehensive change," he said.

The Sudan Call has formed a mediation panel including members from outside the opposition umbrella and addressed a letter to the leaders of the two factions to reconcile the two groups and end the fighting between them.

(ST)