Sudan: SPLM-N El Hilu Seeks Peace Negotiations With Sudan Govt

21 September 2020

Juba / Kadugli — The Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North under the leadership of Abdelaziz El Hilu (SPLM-N El Hilu) seeks negotiations with the Sudanese government.

SPLM-N El Hilu Secretary General Ammar Daldoum said at a press conference in Kauda in South Kordofan, the stronghold of the armed rebel group, that the movement's delegation "is waiting for a new government peace negotiations team", to be formed by Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok.

One month ago, SPLM-N El Hilu withdrew from the peace negotiations in the South Sudanese capital Juba because the government delegation was chaired by Rapid Support Forces (RSF) commander Lt Gen Mohamed Hamdan 'Hemeti'. SLPM-N El Hilu accused Hemeti's RSF of 'heinous crimes' against unarmed civilians in Sudan. Daldoum was leader of the SPLM-N El Hilu negotiating delegation until it withdrew.

Daldoum said that the negotiations will start according to the Declaration of Principles signed by the rebel movements, including SPLM-N El Hilu, and the government in September 2019.

The agreement on principles, signed by Hamdok and El Hilu in Addis Ababa on September 3, 2020, aims to address the outstanding issues that have obstructed the negotiation process, including the issue of separating religion and state, and, in its absence, respect for the right to self-determination.

Daldoum said that his movement has signed agreements with activist groups and has started to work together with them. "The planned 'Marches of the Millions' on Thursday, September 24, in support of the Hamdok-El Hilu agreement, is one of the fruits of coordination and joint action."

Civil Forces Association

The delegation of the SPLM-N El Hilu in Juba and the Civil Forces Association (CFA) signed a political declaration yesterday. Both parties expressed support for the Addis Ababa agreement. They agreed to adopt the principle of secularism, reject a religious state in all its forms, and guarantee freedom of belief and the right to practice any religious rite. They also agreed that no political party be established on a religious or ethnic basis.

The joint declaration, signed by Daldoum and Muhid Siddig for the CFA, stipulates building joint and popular platforms to involve the people in the peace process. Projects of the CFA and civilian groups will be supported in the SPLM-N El Hilu controlled areas in South Kordofan.

The two sides affirmed the right of the displaced and refugees to return to their areas of origin and to resettle there. These areas must be developed and reconstructed, and the displaced should receive some kind of compensation.

The declaration also contains articles on youth participation, children's rights, women's economic, political and social empowerment, and positive discrimination of the marginalised.

The two sides stated that the declaration was the result of "a profound dialogue on the challenges of peace and the democratic transition in Sudan", which took place in Juba from 17 to 20 September.

Demonstration in Kadugli

In South Kordofan's capital Kadugli thousands demonstrated yesterday in support of the agreement on principles signed by Hamdok and El Hilu in Addis Ababa on September 3.

The demonstration was organised by the Sudan Peace Forces, that consists of SPLM-N El Hilu, the Sudanese Professionals Association (the driving force behind the revolution) and other organisations. The participants carried banners calling for a comprehensive and just peace, and secularism.

When Hamdok returned to Khartoum after signing the Agreement on principles in Addis Ababa earlier this month, dozens of SPLM-N El Hilu supporters welcomed the prime minister at the airport. Nuba in South Kordofan and in South Sudanese refugee camps welcomed the agreement as well.

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