The northern wing of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement has issued a strong statement committing itself to the Garangist vision of a reformed Sudan, with “No Compromise, No Retreat” in Southern Kordofan. Today’s statement comes after a two-day meeting attended by Blue Nile state governor Malik Agar, Southern Kordofan commander Abdelazis El Hilu, and SPLM Secretary General Yasir Arman.
The SPLM says that any peace negotiations must take place outside Sudan, under the auspices of a third-party mediator. President Omar al Bashir’s position is the opposite: Negotiations will take place only in Sudan, he says. The SPLMN’s full statement is below.
The Leadership of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLMN)
Meets in South Kordofan
20th – 21st July 2011
• No Compromise, No Retreat.
• A Just Peace, Democracy and the Restructuring of the Centre is Strategic Objective.
At a critical time and historic juncture, the Chairman, the Vice Chairman and the Secretary General of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), Malik Agar, Abdelaziz El Hillu and Yasir Arman met in South Kordofan from July 20th to 21st . The meeting is the second since the National Congress Party (NCP) launched its war against the people of South Kordofan on June 5th. During the current war the NCP has committed massive human rights violations, including war crimes, ethnic cleansing and displacement of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, children, women and daughters and sons of the area. Furthermore the NCP has not only refused to open camps for the internally displaced people (IDPs)but uses them as human shields in the ongoing aerial bombardment of their houses, hospitals and places of worship. The NCP uses of state resources, the army and associated militias against the people of the South Kordofan, and the continued deployment of the forces of the Sudan Army in an internal conflict, questions the legitimacy of the state and party which can do such acts.
The SPLMN leadership meeting assessed the political as well as the humanitarian and military situation and adopted a holistic strategy to tackle the current and the future issues of the country.
The Meeting praised and valued:
- The steadfastness of the citizens of South Kordofan in the face of the brutal attacks launched by the NCP, its troops and militia.
- The refusal of the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army ( SPLA) to be disarmed, in addition to the impressive victories achieved under the leadership of Comrade Abdul Aziz Adam El Hilu, in the defense of citizens’ rights and the rights of the Sudanese people to democracy and life in dignity, including and the respect of their diversities.
- The refusal by the majority of the Sudanese Arab tribes living in the region to take part in the NCP’s war, and their position in taking the side of brotherhood and coexistence, including the involvement of considerable groups of them in resistance alongside with SPLA. The meeting calls the Arab tribes to join the SPLM and for the youth of the Arab tribes to join the SPLA so that a new Southern Kordofan and a new Sudan can be acheived.
- The resistance of SPLMN’s members, both leaders and the grassroots, in towns and rural areas of Sudan, in all states outside the war zones, despite the pressure, blackmail, and campaigns of hatred being waged against them.
- The solidarity campaigns conducted by the friends and members of SPLM in the Diaspora The meeting called for the continuation of such campaigns, for awareness to be raised of the war crimes and ethnic cleansing which have been committed, including the bringing of those responsible to fair trial, and for relief and humanitarian assistance to be permitted to the needy people in war zones, including through the opening of safe corridors for humanitarian operation without delay and hindrance.
- Crises surround the leadership of the NCP and the regime from all directions. The party is principally responsible for the separation of South Sudan and the disruption of the relationship between all the peoples of Sudan, in addition to the rejection of the agenda for change and reform. The NCP’s crises also include the domination of personal interests, corruption and the military junta over the leadership of the party. This domination has undermined even leaders of the NCP and the party has become ruled by the whims of personal mood: the individual interests have been elevated above the institutions, the party and the nationa interests!! Indeed the NCP’s leadership agenda is identifying with the so-called Just Peace Forum ( minbar alsalam alaadil), which is revealed to be an integral part of the NCP. The Just Peace Forum is becoming the official voice of the NCP and the channel for extremism and advocacy for the continuation of war crimes and the fragmentation the rest of Sudan.
- The current leadership of the NCP is working to destroy the relationship between North Sudan and South Sudan, and to harm the interests of millions of nomads and innocent citizens, including traders and businessmen whose interests are linked with South Sudan. This leadership is indeed working towards widening the gap and breaking the ties between the South and the North to the extent that even enemies of Sudan would not dream. The policy of destroying relationship between South and North has particularly targeted the most significant organic linkages between southerners and northern: the human being. These policies include putting restrictions on, and expelling of millions of “southerners” from the North Sudan and using food as weapon through preventing transport of food and fuel to the South Sudan, which crimes and shall ultimately be punished.
- The meeting discussed at length the two potential strategies that SPLM will adopt in dealing with the NCP: regime change or change through a national consensus program agreed upon by all political forces. The leadership of the SPLM constituted a committee to answer this pivotal question, based on the assessment they concluded. The answer will constitute the final position adopted by the SPLMN and it will be declared to the Sudanese people and the international community within one month.
- The SPLM leadership is following closely the deteriorating living conditions of millions of Sudanese who are suffering poverty. This situation has been created as a result of the wrong policies and the dominance of minority party interests over national resources creating societal fragmentation and the marginalization of broad swathes of Sudanese people. This situation is leading to fragile societal situation that will escalate the current wars, and therefore SPLM stand against the current situation and rally with the poor and marginalized groups and to lead them towards achieving democratic change that will ally with humanism and building a new society.
- The SPLM leadership discussed the weaknesses of the party’s media and information and has taken steps to focus on building strong media capacity and outreach. Comrades Arno Naatelo and Anwar Al-Haj have been chosen as spokespersons for the SPLM.
- The meeting condemned the closure of Ajrass Alhurria newspaper and described it as another violation and assault on freedom. The meeting called for a broad solidarity campaign to retrieve Ajrass Alhurria newspaper as a voice for freedom and the marginalized.
- The meeting renewed the invitation to the forces of change, and particularly forces of the new Sudan, to work together to build a movement for change (the Forces of the New Sudan), and to agree on a common umbrella under united leadership to contest the battles of today and tomorrow, and to pave the road of the future. This future will allow the Sudanese people to maintain the unity of the North Sudan on a new basis; restore the unity of Sudan, North and South, based on the reality of the existence of two independent countries; and to work towards a greater unity or confederation between them and other neighboring countries.
- The meeting called all national forces to dialogue and to agree on a program of national consensus and a just peace and democracy.
- The meeting appointed 17 members and leaders to work as representatives for the SPLMN in 5 neighboring countries, in addition to offices in London and Washington.
- The meeting affirmed the continuation of the committee on vision and program, and urged that it finishes its work and see it adopted during the next two months.
- The meeting reviewed the structure of leadership of the party and called for a meeting for the entire leadership of the SPLMN, as soon as possible. The meeting also took note of the fact that because of the war launched by NCP in South Kordofan, a meeting of the entire leadership could not take place.
- The meeting agreed to continue the preparations to hold the first national convention of the SPLMN in Sudan.
The leadership is monitoring with regret and concern the refusal of the NCP to allow humanitarian assistance and relief to reach the hundreds of thousands of people displaced from South Kordofan. The meeting condemned the NCP leadership for preventing humanitarian operation in the area, including the closure of humanitarian assistance passages, which constitutes crimes against humanity. The meeting also condemned NCP leadership for its obstruction of the meetings of the committee of cessation of hostilities and the continuation of war. The meeting tasked comrades Niron Philip, Dr AhmedSaeed and Hashim Aorta to form a relief, humanitarian and rehabilitation organization, and to raise the internal and external support necessary for the humanitarian intervention.
The Military Situation:
- The meeting approved a restructuring of the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army ( SPLA) and the adoption of a united military command in North Sudan. This restructuring process takes into consideration the experience of the former SPLA when it was united, before the independence of the Republic of South Sudan, in addition to the experience of the other democratic national liberation movements.
- The meeting agreed to hold the SPLA conference to adopt the restructuring plan and to adopt a military doctrine that serves the interest of the state of Sudan and its people.
Peaceful Solution and Negotiation:
- A just peace is the strategic objective of the SPLMN.
- A peaceful negotiated solution remains the best option for the people of Sudan.
- The negotiation strategy will be based on the key uncompromised principal that the SPLMN is a Sudanese national movement that seeks to change the policies of the center in Khartoum and to build a new center for the benefit of all Sudanese people regardless of their religion, gender or ethnicity background.
- The issues of South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur are pivotal to the stability of Sudan.
- Political arrangements in the two areas and the security arrangements of the SPLA in Sudan are top priorities for SPLMN.
- The leadership of the NCP takes the full responsibility for what results from its rejection of the Addis Ababa Framework Agreement, especially its insistence on war as a means to resolve the dispute.
- The SPLMN leadership declares its commitment to the Addis Ababa Framework Agreement.
- The meeting assigned a negotiating team under the leadership of the Secretary-General and 10 members, including three women.
- The SPLMN will only negotiate through a third party and outside Sudan. The rejection by the NCP of the Addis Ababa Framework Agreement confirms the importance of a third party.
- The meeting reiterated the SPLMN demand for the establishment of an independent international committee of enquiry to investigate war crimes and ethnic cleansing in South Kordofan. A high level delegation from the SPLM will travel to the African Union, United Nation, Europe and USA to advocate for this demand.
- The meeting commended the role played by the African Union High Implementation Panel, chaired by Thabo Mbeki and his colleagues, and the support of neighboring countries, notably the Prime Minister of Ethiopia Meles Zenawi, and the international community, in reaching the Addis Ababa Framework Agreement.
- The meeting expressed satisfaction towards, and appreciation for, the position of the regional and international community in their response to the events in South Kordofan. The meeting also appreciated the responses of the heads of neighboring countries and international figures who confirmed they will continue their efforts to stop the war; bring those responsible for crimes to justice and to open safe corridors for humanitarian aid.
The NCP claimed it would eliminate the SPLM through media propaganda and investment in hatred, discord and military campaigns, the latest of which it has already started in Southern Kordofan. Now, after newspapers are extinct and wars are launched, the SPLMN remains the major force in Sudanese politics. The SPLMN shall remain because of the huge support it is gaining from its members and friends who desire change, in particular the sons and daughters of northern Sudan who are looking for a new Sudan.