Home | News    Tuesday 13 October 2009

Sudan’s SPLM gives ultimatum to NCP over law package

October 12, 2009 (KHARTOUM) — Sudan ex-Southern rebel group today issued an ultimatum to its partner in the Government of National Unity (GoNU) saying the dominant National Congress Party (NCP) has week to agree on a number of draft laws.

The laws include referendum and national security laws hotly debated with the NCP for most of this year.

The SPLM submitted a memorandum to the parliament speaker saying that these laws need to be tabled within a week or else they will boycott the national assembly.

“We are going to boycott the whole parliamentary session if they do not respond positively,” Yasir Arman, head of the SPLM’s northern sector was quoted by Reuters.

“There is an absence of political will from the National Congress” he said.

The SPLM stressed that this is the last session of the parliament before the April 2010 elections and thus these laws need to be passed as soon as possible.

The NCP asserts that Sudan National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) should have more powers, such as arrest and confiscation, than simply gathering information; something the SPLM says is contrary to the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

Furthermore fundamental disagreements persist between both sides over the sensitive issue of referendum.

The SPLM has proposed 51% while the NCP proposed 75% and recently raised the stake to 90%.

There are also disputed post-referendum issues including discussions on what to do with the liabilities, assets, water, Joint Integrated Units (JIU’s), oil, international agreements in case the South would vote for separation.

The parliament speak Ibrahim Ahmed Al-Tahir accused Arman of having “his own agenda” fearing that as a Northerner he fears passing the referendum law pointing to the SPLM figure accused of homicide back in the 80’s which might be reopened if he loses parliamentary immunity.

However he stressed the NCP’s commitment to resolving differences with the SPLM over these laws.