September 2, 2017 (KHARTOUM) – A delegation from the internal groups of the opposition umbrella Sudan Call inside the country Friday met with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North faction led by Abdel-Aziz al-Hilu (SPLM-N al-Hilu) in Addis Ababa.
The opposition groups inside Sudan were represented by the Deputy President of the National Umma Party (NUP) Mariam al-Mahdi and Mohamed Farouq, the spokesperson of the Sudan Call groups inside and the deputy chairman of the Sudanese National Alliance (SNA).
The SPLM-N is now divided into two factions: one led by Abdel Aziz al-Hilu and the other led by Malik Agar. The rift emerged several months ago over the right of self-determination and other issues.
In a joint statement released on Saturday, the SPLM-N al-Hilu and the Sudan Call said the meeting was held “in an atmosphere of cordiality and mutual respect”, pointing they “discussed the current issues of the country transparently”.
The two sides stressed the need to push forward the unity of the opposition forces, pointing to the importance to support, develop and broaden the Sudan Call to achieve the desired change.
The meeting also underscored the need to continue contacts, consultations and coordination among the Sudan Call groups, calling to hold a meeting for the umbrella to discuss the national crisis.
The SPLM-N al-Hilu underlined the commitment to the Movement’s leading role as founding and active member of the Sudan Call.
The Sudan Call, which was established in Addis Ababa on 3 December 2014, includes the National Umma Party (NUP) and rebel umbrella of Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF), and the Civil Society Initiative (CSI).
Sudan Call internal groups include the Sudanese Congress Party (SCoP), Sudanese Baath Party (SBP), Center Alliance Party (CAP), Sudanese National Party (SNP) and Sudanese National Alliance (SNA).
SPLM-N AGAR DISSATISFIED
Meanwhile, the SPLM-N Agar has expressed discontent over the meeting between the Sudan Call and al-Hilu’s faction, saying it would only aggravate divisions within the Movement.
In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune Saturday, SPLM-N Agar spokesperson Mubarak Ardol described the joint statement as “public relations” statement, saying Mariam al-Mahdi and Mohamed Farouq haven’t been delegated to speak on behalf of the umbrella organization.
The joint statement was signed by the deputy chairman of the NUP Mariam al-Mahdi and the deputy chairman of the SNA Mohamed Farouq for the Sudan Call alliance while Amar Amun Daldoom signed on behalf of the SPLM-N al-Hilu.
Ardol pointed out that they don’t object to Mariam’s meeting with al-Hilu’s faction but their criticism stems from the fact that the joint statement portrayed the latter as the “only legitimate faction”.
He added there are “two SPLM-N factions”, saying it is necessary to meet with the two factions to “clear the air” within the Sudan Call and the SRF.
“Siding with one [SPLM-N] faction would aggravate the differences within the Sudan Call,” said Ardol.
Ardol further expressed his faction’s commitment to the unity of the Sudan Call and the opposition, urging the SPLM-N members from the two factions to stop the bickering on the social media and direct their efforts to the true battle against the regime.
He further pointed to meetings they held with the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Minni Minnawi and the Justice and Equality Movement leader Gibril Ibrahim to strengthen the unity of the opposition.
In a related development, Ardol regretted that NUP leader Sadiq al-Mahdi recently described the SPLM founder the late John Garang as Islamophobe and anit-Arabist.
Following the split of the SPLM-N, the Sudan Call groups inside the country decided to mediate between the two factions of the SPLM-N and to narrow the gaps between the two factions.