South Sudan’s Wani warns al-Hilu against self-determination

September 23, 2017 (KHARTOUM) – South Sudanese Vice President James Wani warned their former comrades of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) against endorsing calls for the self-determination.

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South Sudan’s vice-president, James Wani Igga (Photo: Larco Lomayat)

The SPLM-N split earlier this year into two groups over the right of self-determination for the Two Areas after a decision by the Nuba Mountains Liberation Council to back the position of the deputy chairman Abdel Aziz al-Hilu in this respect.

In statements to the impendent Al-Tayyar newspaper published on Saturday Wani urged the supporters of the self-determination led by al-Hilu to abandon this call and to remain in the united Sudan.

He argued that the situation in the Nuba Mountains is totally different from the south Sudan and invoked that Khartoum will not accept the negotiation of the demand and that the international community will not allow the opening of a “new conflict”.

“The Nuba Mountains themselves do not have the constitutive elements of a state,” Wani further said according to the newspaper.

Al-Hilu, at the time, explained that he wanted the right of self-determination to be included in the peace negotiations and to maintain SPLA-N until the full implementation of a peace agreement the group eventually will sign with the government.

The self-determination and the maintaining the SPLA-N during a transitional period are seen by al-Hilu as the only guarantee to ensure the full implementation of peace agreement.

But the then chairman of the united SPLM-N Malik Agar and the secretary general Yasir Arman considered that their demands for diversity and pluralism can be reached through an inclusive political process ending by a constitutional conference.

The head of the African Union office in Khartoum Mahmoud Kan earlier this month said that SPLM-N al-Hilu reiterated its commitment to a united Sudan in a meeting held with the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) in Addis Ababa on 28 August.

Kan said the delegation explained that their call for the self-determination is intended to address the root causes of the crisis in the Two Areas and does not mean to separate from Sudan.

The SPLM-N al-Hilu wants “a Sudan united on the basis of the Movement’s conditions related to the recognition of religious rights and particularities of the people in the Two Areas, the rights of people in the Two Areas (for developments) and not to apply the Islamic law on Christians in the two Areas,” he said.

(ST)