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SPLM-N Rejects Vice President’s Offer for Negotiations - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Sudanese Vice President Ali Osman Taha gestures as he speaks during a press conference in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on March 26, 2013. (AFP)

Sudanese Vice President Ali Osman Taha gestures as he speaks during a press conference in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on March 26, 2013. (AFP)

London, Asharq Al-Awsat—The Northern Sector of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-N) has rejected an offer of negotiations by the Sudanese First Vice President, Ali Othman Taha.

The group has instead opted to hold negotiations with the Sudanese Government under UN Security Council Resolution 2046.
The militant group said that Taha’s offer reflected a crisis within the ruling regime, and insists on a comprehensive and complete solution, with the participation of all political forces and civil society organizations.

SPLM-N Secretary General Yasser Arman told Asharq Al-Awsat that Taha’s statements signify a regime seeking legitimacy, and trying to use its adversaries in this effort. He said that the phase for the present constitution has ended with the referendum for self-determination in South Sudan, which led to separation and formation of the State of South Sudan. “The referendum and separation of South Sudan require the regime to search for new legitimacy,” he said. “It has failed to preserve the country’s unity and has entered into new wars. It cannot search for a new license by collecting signatures from opposition forces or using the rubber stamps of others to approve a new phase for Salvation [Bashir’s regime] by begging for a new constitution.”

Arman said the country’s next constitution must come via a political and constitutional process, preceded by a halt to war as a precondition for working out a democratic constitution, solving the crisis of ruling, and working out a national accord and consensus. He said the [ruling] National Congress Party (NCP) cannot legitimize itself by partial solutions or a hollow constitutional process that consecrates totalitarianism. He said his movement supports a comprehensive solution, and a fair peace from the Blue Nile in southeast Sudan to Darfur in the west. He added that the political forces and civil society organizations must participate in it.

The SPLM-N Secretary General also addressed the humanitarian conditions that have made millions of people homeless in Darfur, the Nuba Mountains, and the Blue Nile—in addition to the situation in the area of the dams, east Sudan, and Al-Jazirah in central Sudan. He stated that, “what is required is a complete change of the regime, not just Al-Bashir stepping down, or his Vice President Ali Othman Taha replacing him. This finds no acceptance even inside the NCP, let alone the opposition,” he said. “What is required now is a comprehensive, complete, and full solution with the participation of everybody.”

Meanwhile Amnesty International said in a statement that the Sudanese Armed Forces and militias supporting it have launched large-scale attacks on civilians in northern Darfur. It described the attacks as the worst example of violence in recent years. Amnesty also said that border guard forces affiliated to the military intelligence took part in these attacks which have left more than 500 dead so far this year, and forced nearly 100,000 to flee since violence erupted on January 5, according to UN reports.

The director of the Amnesty International’s Africa Program urged Sudanese authorities to immediately suspend any border guards suspected of participating in attacks against civilians in Darfur, and put them on trial.

Amnesty called on the Sudanese Government to ensure an immediate and fair investigation in these claims. It urged the United Nations to follow closely what is going on in Darfur and to submit reports about the claims of attacks against civilians by governmental forces.

Amnesty pointed out that the governmental forces and armed militias are still deployed in the area and causing insecurity.