September 7, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese government has warned AU officials mediating its talks with the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) that the latter is not interested in reaching a settlement to the conflicts in South Kordofan and Blue Nile but rather seeking thwart the talks “in execution of foreign agendas”
In a lengthy memorandum whose contents were excerpted by the daily newspaper Al-Sudani on Friday, the government accused the SPLM-N of lacking the political will and moral vision to end more than a year of armed conflicts in the country’s border region of South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
It also asserted that the SPLM-N is unwilling to break its military and political connection to the ruling party of South Sudan which Khartoum accuses of supporting the rebels who fought as part of its army before gaining independence from Sudan last year.
The government urged AU mediators to foil the SPLM-N’s plan to procrastinate in the hope of an intervention by the UN Security Council (UNSC) which ordered the two sides in May to cooperate in order to end the conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
Indirect negotiations between the government and SPLM-N so far resulted in the signing on 4 August of an agreement to allow humanitarian assistance in rebel-controlled areas of South Kordofan and Blue Nile. However, each side accused the other of obstructing the implementation of the agreement.
Political negotiations, meanwhile, appear unlikely to produce results in the short term as the two sides continue to exchange accusations of unwillingness to reach a deal.
In the memo, the government cited several excerpts of the announced outcome of the SPLM-N’s Leadership Council meeting which was held in late August to exemplify what it described as the rebels’ plan to sustain the conflict not resolve it.
It particularly referred to the SPLM-N call for delivering humanitarian assistance via South Sudan and Ethiopia saying it demonstrates that the rebels’ goal is not to aid citizens but to use humanitarian operations as a way of receiving material and military support from their aides in order to sustain the war.
The government also launched severe criticism against the SPLM-N secretary-general Yasir Arman, accusing him of having no interest in resolving the conflicts in the two states and every interest in using the whole issue as a pretext to execute his foreign agendas “even if they came at the cost of the blood, corpses and displacement of the population of the two states who represents nothing to him than a mean to achieve his evil ends.”
The head of the government negotiating team, Kamal Obaid, said in more than one occasion that they don’t accept to negotiate with Arman because he does not represent the people of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, in reference to the fact that he is ethnically from north Sudan.
But Arman derided his accusation in an interview with Sudan Tribune this week, saying that Obaid himself does not represent the people of the two states to be negotiating on their affairs.
Arman also said that they demand Khartoum to lift the ban on SPLM-N activities and reinstate commitment to the 28 June agreement signed between SPLM-N’s chairman Malik Aggar and Sudan’s presidential assistant Nafie Ali Nafie before it was scrapped by president Al-Bashir.