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SPLM-N al-Hilu says no breakthrough over secular state with Sudanese government

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December 16, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement- N led by Abdel Aziz al-Hilu (SPLM-N al-Hilu) said there is no breakthrough in the ongoing discussions with the transitional government over the declaration of principles.

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Abel Aziz al-Hilu (Reuters file photo)

Since last October the SPLM-N al-Hilu demanded to include the right of self-determination in the peace talks with the transitional saying it can only withdraw it if the government commits its self to a secular state.

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Monday, the spokesman of the Movement’s negotiating team Jack Mahmud A. Jack refuted rumours that the group had abandoned its demand for self-determination.

"It is not true at all that we have conceded any of our negotiation positions or principles," Jack said before to add they cannot accept referring issues that "constitute the root causes of the Sudanese problem" to the constitutional conference.

He further stressed that no progress has been made in the talks since the resumption of discussions on 10 December.

"So far, no breakthrough has been made regarding the disagreement on the declaration of principles (DoPs), particularly on the issues of secularism and the right to self-determination," he said.

"Failure to achieve this (secular state) will inevitably make the option of the right to self determination a principle rather than a negotiation position," he added.

The transitional government officials say they are with the separation between politics and the religion, however, they underscore the need to reaffirm this principle in a constitutional conference gathering all the political forces to avoid any further claims in the future from the Islamists.

However, al-Hilu group says the transitional government have to take a decision now on the secular state as far as the FFC forces and the military council agree with them on this respect.

The SPLM-N split in 2017 over the demand of self-determination.

The SPLM-N chief negotiator Yasir Arman at the time refused to follow al-Hilu’s recommendation and demand to introduce the self-determination in the talks with al-Bashir regime.

(ST)

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