6 February 2013

Sudan Reaffirms Accusation to U.S. of Providing Support to SPLM-N

Khartoum — A senior official with the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) pointed fingers again at the United States claiming it is aiding rebels from the Sudan People Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) fighting Khartoum in the border areas of Blue Nile and South Kordofan.

The NCP External Relations Secretary Ibrahim Ghandour said in press statements on Wednesday that the conflict in these two states is strictly an internal matter that would be resolved through homegrown solutions.

"Any move to impose conditions or dialogue is an attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of Sudan" Ghandour said.

The Sudanese official warned that they will not succumb to any pressure by the UN to negotiate with the SPLM-N.

He lambasted Washington saying that a recent visit by SPLM-N leaders is sufficient proof of U.S. support to the rebel group.

Ghandour alleged that the Obama administration is fueling the war in the two states through money, weaponry and international political support.

The NCP official went on to say that despite U.S. denials it is clear that Washington allows support by domestic lobby groups to SPLM-N

This week the U.S. charge d'affaires Joseph D. Stafford called on Khartoum to resolve internal conflicts in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan.

He strongly denied that the U.S. is biased in favor of any party in Sudan and strongly dismissed accusations by officials in Khartoum that Washington is behind the "New Dawn" charter signed by opposition and rebel groups in Kampala last month.

Stafford said that Washington informed Sudanese rebels that they oppose any attempt to overthrow the regime by force and urged them to seek dialogue with Khartoum.

"We are only biased towards peace in Sudan," the U.S. official said.

Armed revolts broke out in South Kordofan and Blue Nile around the time neighboring South Sudan declared independence in 2011.

The SPLM-N fought as part of the southern insurgent army during the two decades civil war years that started in 1983.

Khartoum accuses Juba of backing the rebels but South Sudan routinely denies the accusations.

Attempts to bring Sudan to the negotiating table with SPLM-N have failed despite intense regional and international pressure.

The UN Security Council's (UNSC) resolution number 2046 ordered Sudan and the SPLM-N to cooperate in order to end the conflict in the two regions. Under the resolution, two parties are supposed to negotiate on the basis of the 28 June 2011 agreement they signed in Addis Ababa before it was scrapped by Sudanese President Omer Al-Bashir.

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