SPLM vows to form national government in South Kordofan State

23 April, 2011 (Sudan Tribune)

The deputy governor of South Kordodan State, Abdul Aziz Adam Al-Hilu, has announced he will form a coalition government should he win the state’s gubernatorial elections for which he is running on the ticket of the North Sudan branch of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).

Legislative and gubernatorial elections in Sudan’s central state of South Kordofan, which lie on the fault line between the north and the soon-to-be independent state of South Sudan, are due to be held on May 2 after they were postponed from April 2010 when the country held countrywide elections.

The polls, which were delayed due to disagreements resulting from the 2008 census and delimitation of geographic constituencies, is expected to witness a fierce competition for the state governor office between Al-Hilu and Ahmad Harun, the incumbent candidate of North Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP), who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of war crimes allegedly committed in the country’s western region of Darfur.

In a packed public rally in Killik and Korongo areas in the state, Al-Hilu exhorted citizens to vote for him in order to “put an end to the state’s woes.”

Al-Hilu, who appears to have managed to secure the backing of other opposition parties for his candidacy against Ahmad Harun, declared that he would form a government of national unity if he wins the elections.

Meanwhile, the secretary-general of the SPLM’s northern sector, Yasir Arman, who was present at the rally, warned citizens against voting for Harun, asking “how could a man sought for crimes solve the state’s problems?”

Arman said that voting for Harun would be considered a “crime” because he would turn the state into a zone of war, citing allegations of a buildup in the state by paramilitary forces loyal to Harun.

Last week the paramilitary Popular Defense Forces (PDF) attacked El-Feid village in South Korodfan’s Nuba Mountain area, killing 17 people and burning a number of houses. The SPLM accused Harun of mobilizing the PDF with the intent of scuttling elections in the state.

The Washington-based Sudan Human Rights Network (SHRN) on Wednesday issued a statement in which it documented and condemned the attack, which it said was carried out by the PDF at the behest of the NCP.

SHRN urged activists to increase pressure on the Sudanese government to disarm all paramilitary forces.


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