15 January 2013

Sudan: SPLM-N Delegation Arrives in Washington

Khartoum — A delegation from the Sudan People's Liberation Movement - North (SPLM-N) has arrived Tuesday to Washington for a series of meetings with American officials on the humanitarian situation in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states and political negotiations for a peaceful solution to the conflict with Khartoum.

A picture showing US Congressman Capuano with SPLM-N leader Malik Agar and its sceretary general Yasir Arman during a visit to Washington in 2012 (photo SPLM-N)

A delegation led by Malik Agar, SPLM-N- leader and Yasir Arman, secretary-general, is expected to begin talks with U.S. special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, Princeton Lyman, to explain the position of the rebel group on the humanitarian process after the failure of a trilateral initiative by the UN agences, African Union and Arab League.

Further, the talks will address the SPLM-N's position on the peace process and ways to allow the implementation of security arrangements agreed by Sudan and South Sudan.

The rebel movement already suggested to conclude a secession of hostilities with Khartoum to facilitate the establishment of the demilitarized zone between the two countries. In return, they demanded that Khartoum allows passage of humanitarian aid to needy civilians in the SPLM-N controlled areas.

In an unusual gesture, the Sudanese news agency that usually ignores the movements of rebel leaders, has published a news story about the visit of the SPLM-N delegation to Washington, saying that the U.S. envoy Princeton Lyman had personally intervened to resolve the problem facing the delegation members' entry visas to America.

Sudanese presidential assistant Nafiue Ali Nafie accused the Uniuted States of sponsoring a meeting held in Nairobi by the rebel groups and opposition parties to discuss a charter to topple the regime by political and military means.

Nafie further described the signatories as "agents to foreign powers" and claimed that the rebels plotted to assassinate political figures in Khartoum.

The SPLM-N signed the New Dawn Charter with the rebel movements of Sudanese Revolutionary Front, the opposition forces member of the National Consensus Forces, in addition to a number of civil society groups, women and youth organizations.

The American administration pushes the SPLM-N to engage talks with Khartoum on the implementation of a protocol related to the Two Areas signed in 2005. But, the rebel group and its allied political forces say toppling the regime by political and military means is their option.

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