March 27, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese government on Monday said that the recent rift within the leadership of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) will negatively affect the negotiation and the peace process. While the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) led by Gibril Ibrahim urged its allies to overcome the crisis.
Last Saturday, the Nuba Mountains Liberation Council, an SPLM-N political body in the South Kordofan announced its support of al-Hilu’s demand for self-determination and relieved Arman from his position as secretary-general and chief negotiator.
SPLM-N deputy chairman Abel Aziz al-Hilu earlier this month resigned from his position saying the secretary-general Yasir Arman disregarded his demand to include the self-determination in the agenda of peace negotiations.
"The (SPLM-N’s) split into two factions would negatively affect the negotiation process because negotiating with a unified movement is better than negotiating with a divided group," said Foreign Minister Ibrahim Gandour who was in the past tasked with the negotiations with the rebel group.
He further expressed hope that the SPLM-N opts for peace taking into account the desire of the Nuba Mountains people, emphasising that the current rift threatens the whole peace process.
The SPLM-N leader Malik Agar and the secretary-general Arman arrived Saturday in the Nuba Mountains and continue to hold meetings with the civil and military intuitions of the group in the area.
Observers expressed fears that the situation breakout into military confrontation triggering new waves of displacement and complicate the ongoing efforts for a ceasefire before to start a long time awaited humanitarian operation.
In a set of pictures released from the area, Agar and Arman appeared with the SPLA-N command which is purportedly supportive to their cause.
CALLS TO OVERCOME CRISIS
The SRF led by Gibril Ibrahim called on its political and peace partners in the SPLM-N to overcome the crisis and to come out with a decision preserving the interests of Sudanese people.
The group said it has been following with great concern the developments within the SPLM-N and is considering its effects on "the overall process of the national struggle".
In a statement signed by its spokesperson Tom Hajo, the SRF Gibril-Ibrahim further called on the SPLM-N leaders to overcome their differences and to stick to national issues and the interests of Sudanese people.
Armed groups from the Two Areas and Darfur are part of a two-track process led by an African Union mediation team. Also, they are members of a political umbrella including opposition parties dubbed "Sudan Call".
Last week, the leader of the National Umma Party (NUP) Sadiq al-Mahdi who is also a partner of the armed groups in the negotiations for peace and democratic reforms said he would mediate between the SPLM-N leaders to settle the internal rift.