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Sudan rebel groups have to consider transformation into political parties: Arman

May 19, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Yasir Arman, the deputy leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North led by Malik Agar said political changes in the country and at the international level require to reconsider the armed struggle and to espouse peaceful political tools.

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Secretary-general of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, Yasser Arman (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

The historical SPLM since its inception in 1983 opted for the armed action against the central government in Khartoum until the signing of a political agreement in 2005. However, the Sudanese faction resorted to the military action just before the independence of South Sudan in July 2011.

However, the linking between the political violence and the terrorist groups in the world during the recent years has distorted the image of armed groups. Also, the multiplication of armed groups and divisions among the rebel movements in Sudan is seen now as an obstacle for peace and political stability.

Further, several internal opposition parties accuse the armed opposition of impeding their efforts to mobilize the Sudanese street and overthrow the nearly 30-year regime of President Omer al-Bashir through the popular uprising as it was the case in the past.

"The goal of armed struggle is to reach a historic compromise to build a different but a consensual national project. Therefore, whenever less costly means are available to achieve the same objectives, we must consider them," said Arman.

He added that the Sudanese armed groups must bear in mind the major transformations the country and the world are undergoing.

The armed conflicts in Darfur and the Two Areas have caused an important humanitarian crisis in Sudan since 2003 and continue up to date. UN agencies estimate 5.5 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, including 3.1 million in Darfur.

In addition, the continuation of the armed conflicts and the lack of perspective for a negotiated solution in southern and western parts of the country have created a donor fatigue, while other humanitarian crises have mobilized the international aid.

However, the most significant development in the recent years is the openness and normalization process engaged by the international community with Khartoum within its efforts to contain illegal migrants who cross to Europe from conflict-affected countries including Sudan.

Arman said his group has to realize that the SPLM-N real strength lies in its political action and contribution to the mass peaceful struggle.

"Since the current balance of power does not enable us to change the center through the armed struggle and resolve the battle militarily, as happened in Ethiopia and Eritrea, the situation requires to activating the peaceful mass struggle to achieve the change we seek," stressed the SPLM-N Agar deputy leader.

During the transitional period 2005-2011, the SPLM had successfully built a strong political organization in Sudan but the group political structure was severely damaged after the eruption of the armed conflict in 2011.

The SPLM-N Agar is among the opposition forces that call to participate in the 2020 general election if a peace agreement is signed and democratic reforms are implemented to ensure free and fair elections.

(ST)