March 18, 2017 (KHARTOUM) – Chairman of the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-N) Malik Agar Saturday acknowledged that his deputy Abdel-Aziz al-Hilu has tendered his resignation but didn’t mention whether or not it was accepted.
A twelve-page resignation addressed to the Nuba Mountain Liberation Council, SPLM-N’s highest political authority in the Nuba Mountains, and signed by al-Hilo has widely circulated on social media on Friday.
Also, there were media leaks that the Nuba Mountain Liberation Council has issued a number of decisions which involves changing the negotiating team with the government headed by SPLM-N secretary-general Yasir Arman.
In a press release extended to Sudan Tribune Saturday, Agar confirmed his deputy’s resignation, denying that any changes have taken place on SPLM-N political and military structure including its negotiating team with the government.
“The only body that would deal with the political issues is the leadership council and the military issues would be dealt with by the SPLM-N chief of general staff,” he said.
Agar accused what he described as “suspicious circles” of seeking to his deputy’s resignation to settle scores with the SPLM-N and its leadership and political stances.
“The resignation is true and it would be handled properly and all issues contained in it including the call for self-determination for the Nuba Mountain would be discussed within the regulatory frameworks of the SPLM-N and its leadership and on top of that the leadership council,” Agar said.
The rebel leader stressed the SPLM-N would adhere to the unilateral cessation of hostilities it has declared earlier except for self-defence, pointing the Movement is committed to its stances within the Sudan Call and Sudan Revolutionary Front.
He pointed out the Movement wouldn’t abandon issues pertaining to political and security arrangements in the Two Areas besides the comprehensive political solution, saying they will continue to push forward theses issues internally and abroad.
Agar further underscored that the New Sudan project is the SPLM-N’s political programme, saying the project is open for the participation of all Sudanese.
Informed sources within the SPLM-N have told Sudan Tribune that al-Hilu continued to demand the Movement’s negotiators to raise the issue of self- determination of Nuba Mountain at the negotiating table, saying the refusal of the negotiating team to consider his demand pushed him to tender his resignation.
According to sources, al-Hilu should have addressed his resignation to the SPLM-N leadership council instead of the Nuba Mountain Liberation Council because the former is body entrusted with handling these issues.
In his resignation dated, on 7 March, al-Hilu disclosed differences among the three executive officers of the national leadership council, saying these differences “went beyond the secondary matters to the principles and orientations”.
He pointed that the major disagreement between himself and Agar and Arman evolve around the Movement’s manifesto and constitution besides the negotiating position, stressing the SPLM-N has been working without manifesto for six years.
Al-Hilo also accused Arman of controlling the decision-making process, saying the selection of Movement’s heads of external offices is done according to “personal mode”.
He also mentioned differences with Arman regarding the Movement’s stance towards the security arrangements with the government.
He disclosed that on the security arrangements, he said that Arman last August handed over to the African Union mediation the same position included in Agar-Nafei agreement of 28 June 2011, while he agreed with him in January 2016 to ask for a 20-year period security arrangements deal.
SPLM-N has been fighting the Sudanese army and its allied militia in Blue Nile and South Kordofan, also known as the Two Areas since June 2011.