Sudan shuts down SPLM-North offices in Khartoum

September 3, 2011 (Sudan Tribune)

Sudanese authorities today closed the offices of the opposition Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) one day after clashes erupted between Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and troops loyal to the chairman of the party in Blue Nile state Malik Agar.

The SPLM have been registered as a political party since the interim period of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). Following the secession of the South Sudan last August, the registration office said the SPLM is registered with Salva Kir as chairman and Pagan Amum as secretary general stressing that this party in no longer is part of the current Sudan.

Sudan’s security forces shut down on Saturday the premises of the SPLM in the capital Khartoum and barred the entry of its members to their offices. Also, a police force seized the office of the SPLM-North secretary general Yasir Arman in Arkweit suburb.

Police informed the party members who tried to get access to their offices that the SPLM activities are banned until the regularisation of its activities.

Kamal Obeid the government spokesperson said at a press conference on Saturday that 95% of the SPLM members are now foreigners. He stressed that the party has to register officially and to disband its armed militias.

The political parties law says before its recognition as political party any organised group has to renounce the use of arms. This clause prevented the Sudan Liberation Movement of Minni Minnawi from participating in the 2010 general elections.

The SPLM-North troops were to be disbanded six months after the conduct of the popular consultations a key part of the CPA for South Kordofan and Blue Nile intended to assess whether the grievances of the two areas had been addressed during the six year peace deal.

However, since last June after armed clashes between the Sudanese army and the SPLM troops loyal to Abdel Aziz al-Hilu in Southern Kordofan, the insurgents say a new security arrangements protocol should be negotiated.

Since August, the SPLM has been negotiating an alliance with three rebel groups in Darfur region to overthrow the regime of the National Congress Party through political and armed means.

The Sudanese officials accused the elected governor of the Blue Nile state of preparing to launch attacks on the position of the regular army.


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