April 4, 2014 (KHARTOUM) –The rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) has reiterated its demand for a comprehensive process to resolve Sudan’s conflicts, demanding the mediation team facilitate meetings with political forces inside the country.
The resolution was endorsed by an extraordinary meeting of the SPLM-N Leadership Council held in rebel-controlled areas in South Kordofan state from 31 March to 3 April. The gathering was chaired by group leader Malik Agar, and also attended by deputy Abdelaziz Hilu and secretary-general Yasir Arman.
According to a statement released on Friday, discussion at the meeting, which gathered over 60 political and military rebel officials, centred on the political and humanitarian situation, the African Union-brokered peace process, relations with other rebel groups and the situation in South Sudan.
The Leadership Council “rejects partial solutions altogether, and sticks to the comprehensive solution as the only option”, the statement read in part, adding that the meeting “resolved to continue to work for the overthrow of the regime” if this demand is not fulfilled.
On 2 March, the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) suspended the stalled talks on the conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, asking the AU Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) for further guidance on the matter.
The mediation proposed a draft framework agreement for the two parties, but the rebel group presented a different proposal calling for a comprehensive and inclusive process to settle the armed conflicts in the Two Areas and Darfur, as well as a constitutional conference for democratic reforms.
The meeting discussed the call for national dialogue launched by president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir and “reaffirmed the need to adhere to the constitutional conference as a legal and political framework to reach a new constitution based on equal citizenship, democracy, and the answer to how to govern Sudan,” the statement said.
The rebel body further demanded the AUHIP and UN special envoy to Sudan enable the SPLM-N to meet all the political forces and civil society groups inside the country in order to hold further consultations and to brief them on its positions.
In a statement issued on 12 March, the AUPSC requested the Sudanese rebel group “respond in accordance with the request made by the AUHIP” on the draft framework agreement, which calls on both parties to negotiate a solution to the conflict in Blue Nile and South Kordofan before moving towards a national process.
The African body has urged the mediation team to assist the two parties reach an agreement by 30 April.