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Arman criticizes calls for self-determination by SPLM-N al-Hilu

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October 27, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Yasir Arman, the deputy leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement led by Malik Agar (SPLM-N Agar) Sunday has criticized calls for self-determination by the SPLM-N of Abdel Aziz al-Hilu saying it is fraught with many complications.

SPLM-N AgarDeputy Chairman Yasir Arman

South Sudanese mediators adjourned talks on a declaration of principles between the Sudanese transitional government and the SPLM-N al-Hilu to 21 November after failing to broker an agreement.

During the recent talks, the SPLM-N al-Hilu demanded proposed to include its self-determination in the negotiations if the transitional government cannot negotiate the separation of the state and religion.

In a statement released on Sunday, Arman criticized the "use of strategic issues without principled and moral commitment," after the regime change and the Sudanese revolution which opens other perspectives different from what the former regime.

"Demanding the right of self-determination on an ethnic basis that differentiates the local population on the basis of criteria other than the right of citizenship defeats the right itself and leads to protracted ethnic wars," Arman said.

He further said that the Two Areas, unlike South Sudan, have Arab and non-Arab tribes that do not claim self-determination, and this specificity makes the situation more complicated than South Sudan.

The former SPLM-N chief negotiator underscored that the important Nuba ethnic groups who played an important role in the unification of the Sudanese state will not support this orientation as many of them as living outside the Nuba Mountains area.

Also, he stressed such demand undermines the national character of the Movement and makes the vision of the New Sudan itself a mechanism for the division of Sudan rather than a vision to change Sudan and build a new Sudan.

In June 2017, the last week, the SPLM Nuba Mountains Liberation Council decided to install SPLM-N Deputy Chairman Abdel-Aziz al-Hilu as temporary chairman of the Movement and relieved Malik Agar from the leadership of the armed group together with the Secretary-General Yasir Arman.

The move came in support of al-Hilu who blamed the two leaders for ignoring his request to include the right of self-determination in the peace talks with the Islamist government of Omer al-Bashir.

In his speech at the launch of the peace talks on 14 October, Malik Agar reiterated his call to reunite the SPLM-N saying the split of the group has weakened the SPLM-N.

He further reiterated that their demand remains the regional autonomy for the Two Areas including the right of legislation. Also, he called to maintain the SPLA-N troops during the implementation period of the peace agreement.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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