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Malik Agar | Malik Aggar Eyre Gandof

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SRF chairman Malik Agar (C) Photo by Jared Ferrie

Names: Malik Agar | Malik Aggar Eyre Gandof

Born: Ingessana Hills, Blue Nile State, Sudan

Positions:

Chairman and Commander in Chief of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement - North (SPLM-N)

Chairman of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF), which includes some Darfur rebel groups

Malik Agar Profile

Malik Agar – now one of the figureheads of both the SPLM North and Sudan Revolutionary Front – first took upon arms against the Sudanese government shortly after the outbreak of the second Sudanese civil war in 1983. It was in this period that the people of the Ingessana Hills, in what is now Blue Nile State, where Agar was born, were brought into conflict with the central state for the first time, due to the emergence of the SPLA in the region, the expansion of mechanized agriculture and the government’s politicization of famine relief.

In 1995, Agar commanded SPLA soldiers from Blue Nile as far away from their homeland as Western Equatoria in the far south-west of southern Sudan. But it was Agar who captured Kurmuk and Qaissan for the SPLA in January 1997.

Relationship with Garang

Like other Muslim Northerners in the SPLA, Agar was regarded as one of John ‘Garang Boys’ who advocated pursuing the liberation of the country as a whole rather than simply fighting for southern secession.

Along with the other ‘Garang boys’ he was somewhat marginalized after the SPLA chief’s death in 2005. In 2009 he lamented the forthcoming secession of Sudan in a (leaked) conversation with a United States official, observing ‘If the south goes, there will be no Sudan...Blue Nile, South Kordofan and Abyei will also look for a way to go South; Darfur will disintegrate and become entangled with Chad, and the East will ‘kiss and make up’ with Eritrea’.

Elected Blue Nile Governor

Agar was the only non-NCP candidate to win a governorship in the 2010 elections beating the ruling party’s candidate, Farah Ibrahim Mohamed Al-Aggar, by 108,119 to 99,417 votes. Unlike other high-profile opposition figures like his SPLM-North colleague Yasir Arman’s Agar decided not to boycott the vote. However, he only served a year and half of his term as he was dismissed from the post 2 September 2011 by President Omar al-Bashir following skirmishes between the Sudanese military and SPLA-North. His replacement was former soldier al-Hadi Bushra.

Resumption of Blue Nile conflict

Agar immediately blamed the National Congress Party’s lack of commitment to the CPA-mandated ‘popular consultation’ process for his falling out with the regime. Since his dismissal, Agar and the SPLA-North have conducted an all out insurgency against al-Bashir’s regime within the province. Although he was forced out of his stronghold in Kurmuk by the Sudan Armed Forces in November 2011, he maintains that the SPLA is still well placed to threaten the state capital of Damazein. He has also made numerous requests for international aid agencies to assist populations within Blue Nile displaced by the fighting.

Formation of the SRF

In February 2012, Agar was elected as chairman of the newly formed Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF), a coalition of the SPLM-North and other rebel movements in Darfur and Eastern Sudan. Agar insists that the agenda of the SRF is to bring about ‘a democratic system that is based on citizenship and amicable power-sharing’.

Political Philosophy

He comprehensively rejects President Omar al-Bashir’s vision of an Arab-Islamic state, observing ‘we have to be Sudanese before being religious. We have to be Sudanese before being Arabs. We have to be Sudanese before being Funj or Nuba...and we create a Sudanese state as an umbrella...with a full democracy that allows...everybody, she or he, to practise his or her religious affiliation and conviction...you cannot create an Islamic country, Sudanese failed for the last 50 years and it resulted in South Sudan separating...you cannot build Sudan on ethnicity, there is about 300 ethnicities in Sudan, there is about 3-400 languages in the Sudan’.


Links

Blue Nile State | South Kordofan State | South Kordofan & Blue Nile Conflict | Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) | NCP talks with SPLM-N 2012


Sources

‘Fernandez’, American Embassy Khartoum to Secretary of State, Washington, April 2009 (leaked by Wikileaks, http://www.leakoverflow.com/questions/553379/09khartoum571-malik-agar-presses-hard-for-truth-to-be-told-in-three-areas)

Mustafa Sirri, Interview with Malik Agar in al-Sharq al-Awsat, 8 April 2012, http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?id=29174

Douglas Johnson, Root Causes of Sudan’s Civil Wars (Oxford 2003)

Wendy James, War and Survival in Sudan’s Frontier Lands (Oxford 2007)

Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement: Beyond the Crisis’, International Crisis Group 13 March 2008. http://www.crisisgroup.org/ /media/Files/africa/horn-of-africa/sudan/B050%20Sudans%20Comprehensive%20Peace%20Agreement%20Beyond%20the%20Crisis.pdf

Sudan’s rebels elect Malik Agar leader of their Alliance’, Sudan Tribune 21 February 2012, http://www.sudantribune.com/Sudan-s-rebels-elect-Malik-Agar,41669

James Andre interview with Malik Agar, France24 10 May 2012, http://www.france24.com/en/20120510-interview-malik-agar-head-sudanese-revolutionary-front-sudan-humanitarian-crisis-war


Malik Agar Videos

France 24 - Malik Agar, Head of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front


Malik Agar Links




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