Sudanese Rebels Vow to Strengthen Alliance With Opposition, Plan More Military Attacks

Photo: Derk Segaar/IRIN
Displaced by conflict.

Khartoum — The leadership of the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army North (SPLM/A-N) concluded a secretive meeting on Monday and outlined plans for increased military and political activities against the government in Khartoum.

SPLM-N leaders Abdel Aziz Al-Hilu (L), Malik Aggar (C) and Yasir Arman (R) during the conclusion of an undisclosed meeting on Monday 27 August (photo SPLM-N)

The Movement's chairman Malik Aggar addressed the meeting of the SPLM-N's leadership council whose starting date and place have not been announced. In his address, Aggar said that his group was working on strengthening its alliance with rebel groups from the western region of Darfur in order to make it a powerful tool of political change.

Aggar was referring to the Sudanese Revolutionary Forces (SRF), a coalition SPLM-N forged in November last year with three rebel groups from Darfur and vowed concerted military efforts to overthrow the government of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP).

The SPLM-N leader, in statements sent to Sudan Tribune , said that their meeting is going to devise a meticulous plan for forging alliances between SRF and political opposition groups in Khartoum in order to achieve change.

The SPLM-N leadership meeting was held under the motto "unifying the opposition work and toppling the regime." It included senior SPLM/A-N representatives as well as representatives of student affiliates and refugees in South Kordofan and Blue Nile States, where the group has been fighting government forces since last year.

Mainstream political groups in Sudan, mainly the National Umma Party (NUP) and the Democratic Unionist Party (NUP), have been avoiding association with the SPLM-N and SRF with their leaders expressing concerns over the possibility of total state collapse in the event of violent change.

In his speech, Agar held all the regimes that ruled Sudan responsible for all wars. He went on to say that the SPLM-N intends to address the errors of the past by holding a constitutional conference and reorganizing the Sudanese states on new basis to be predicated on the will of the people.

He also reiterated that his group advocates the establishment of a confederation with neighboring South Sudan after toppling the NCP. The confederation, according to Agar, will enable the existence of two independent states and ensure their viability through political and economic coordination as well as soft borders allowing citizens to co-exist and serve common interests.

Khartoum accuses the SPLM-N of being unwilling to sever its historical ties with the ruling party of South Sudan, SPLM, which Khartoum also accuses of supporting the rebels who fought as part of its army before South Sudan secession last year.

"The Summer Attack"

In the same SPLM-N meeting, the group's chief of staff and deputy chairman Abdel Aziz Adam Al-Hilu revealed that their forces in collaboration with SRF factions are preparing a major military offensive codenamed "The Summer Attack" against government forces.

"Our preparations are underway on full swing to conduct joint SRF military operations that will be unprecedented" Al-Hilu said. He added that "The Summer Attack" will rock the pillars of the regime.

Al-Hilu claimed that their upcoming operation cannot fail because "they are aware of the military, economic and political situation of the NCP." He described the NCP as an arrogant and despotic gang that is responsible for the outbreak of war because it sought to disarm SPLM/A-N fighters in South Kordofan and Blue Nile without holding the popular consultation process as stipulated in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

Meanwhile, the SPLM-N's secretary-general Yasir Arman said that the leadership meeting took a number of important decisions but he declined to reveal them.

Arman expressed confidence that their group will liberate Sudan on the basis of the new Sudan vision which recognizes the reality of diversity. He said that the NCP was experiencing its worst days in light of the upsurge of violence in Darfur and the outbreak of anti-government demonstrations in more than 40 villages and cities in the north.

Arman also touched on their ongoing negotiations with the government in Addis Ababa, saying that the SPLM-N's strategy for the next rounds will focus on supporting "the demands of Sudanese people for democracy, change and hopes of decent existence"

The next round of talks between the government and SPLM-N is due to be held in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on 3 September following the end of the funeral of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi who in the past played part in bridging the gap between the two sides.

Previous rounds failed to achieve any progress but the two sides are negotiating on the basis of their 28 June 2011 agreement which the Sudanese government disavowed.

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