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SPLM-N Agar welcomes South Sudan Kiir’s mediation on Two Areas conflict

SPLM-N leader Malok Agar (C) with his deputy Yasir Arman on his right and secretary general Ismail Jabab on his left on 16 November 2017 (ST)

November 4, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-N Agar) led by Malik Agar has welcomed the initiative of South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit to reunite the Movement’s two factions and facilitate talks with the Sudanese government to end the armed conflict in the Two Areas.

In a statement issued on Sunday, SPLM-N Agar spokesperson Mubarak Ardol said a delegation from his movement has been dispatched to Juba in response to President Kiir’s initiative.

He pointed that the delegation has engaged in consultations with the concerned bodies in South Sudan, saying his Movement accepted the initiative in order to arrive at comprehensive peace in Sudan that could contribute to achieving stability in both countries.

Ardol added that peace in the Two Areas can’t be achieved prior to reuniting the SPLM-N factions, saying his faction deals with the unification of the Movement as a strategic and existential issue.

He pointed out that Kiir’s initiative comes in support of the African and international effort to achieve peace in Sudan, saying it enjoys the support of the Sudanese government and important parties within the opposition.

However, Ardol dismissed media reports that the leader of his faction, Malik Agar, and his deputy, Yasser Arman, have met with Sudan’s Presidential Aide Faisal Hassan Ibrahim during his recent visit to Juba.

On Saturday, the Sudanese government said it has accepted the offer of South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit to facilitate negotiations with the SPLM-N to end the armed conflict in the Two Areas.

The announced was made following a lightning visit by Sudan’s Presidential Assistant Faisal Hassan Ibrahim to Juba where he discussed with Kiir the outcome of the recent meeting between the government and the SPLM-N faction led by Abdel-Aziz al-Hilu in South Africa.

The SPLM-N, which has been fighting the government in the South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, also known as Two Areas, since June 2011, split last year into two factions, one is led by Abdel-Aziz al-Hilu and the other is led by Malik Agar.

The split was a result of differences over a number of organizational matters as well as the position to adopt in the peace talks.

Al-Hilu who was the deputy chairman blamed the negotiating team led by Yasir Arman for ignoring the demand of the Nuba Mountains for self-determination. Also, he wanted to maintain the rebel army for a twenty-year period before to decide on the future of the region.