September 14, 2012 (WASHINGTON) –U.S. Senators John McCain pledged to raise issues of humanitarian and political concerns in Sudan in the two houses and to advocate for strong congressional stance, said sources close to the Sudanese rebels.
- Senator John McCain poses for a picture with Malik Agar (at his L) Abdel Alziz El-Hilu (first of his right) and Yasir Arman on the right (photo SPLM-N)
The former Republican presidential nominee received Friday the visiting leadership of the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – North (SPLM-N) which is in Washington for talks with the government officials and to mobilize political parties and civil society to support its cause during the campaign of presidential election.
In a meeting with Malik Agar, SPLM-N chairman, his deputy Abdel Aziz Hilu and secretary general Yasir Arman, Senator McCain expressed his support to the plight of Sudanese people in Blue Nile and South Kordofan and pledged to raise the humanitarian and political crisis of the two region in the two houses of U.S. Congress.
Since 2010 elections the Republican Party holds a minority of seats in the Senate but controls of the House of Representatives where the majority is from its members.
The meeting tackled the delay in the implementation of a humanitarian tripartite initiative aiming to reach affected civilians in the SPLM-N areas. Also the rebel group explained its position over the ongoing political process in Addis Ababa.
The Movement which fights against the government forces since June 2011 calls for a comprehensive process, which involves rebel groups and political opposition parties, aiming to establish a new regime in Sudan.
The SPLM-N and its allies of Darfur rebel groups accuse the Islamist regime of President Omer Al-Bashir of being the source of current troubles in the country. They believe that the removal of the regime by political and military means would bring peace in Sudan and contribute to regional stability.
The SPLM-N leadership met also with Michael Capuano who co-chairs with Frank Wolf a bipartisan congressional caucus on Sudan.
Wolf who is known critic of Sudanese president supported last May an amendment cutting off non-humanitarian aid to any nation that allows Omer Bashir who is indicted for war crimes and genocide to visit their country.
The visiting delegation met last Tuesday with Princeton Lyman, U.S. Obama’s envoy for Sudan and South Sudan. The meeting discussed the positions of the rebel group in issues discussed in Addis Ababa where the SPLM-N holds indirect negotiations with the government.
Since, Lyman left to Cairo where he arrived in Thursday to discuss with Egyptian government and Arab League officials the implementation of humanitarian tripartite initiative in Blue Nile and south Kordofan, and the stalled talks over the buffer zone on the border between Sudan and south Sudan.
The Sudanese rebels also met with a number of officials at the State Department to discuss issues related to human rights and Sudanese refugees in South Sudan and Ethiopia. They also held a round table at the US Institute for Peace over issues of war, peace and change in Sudan with a number of researchers and experts as well as foreign diplomats in Washington.
Also the SPLM-N leadership met with civil society groups including Enough Project which calls with other groups to support Sudanese rebels and political activists who protested last June and July and called to bring down the ruling regime.