Al-Hilu Returns Swinging

By Hanadi Osman

December 12, 2007 (Al-Ray Ala'am)

SPLM prominent leadership member, Abdelaziz Al-Hilu has covered 90% of the distance between US and Juba, Capital of South Sudan Government as he now stays in the Kenyan Capital, Nairobi,  where he, according to observers,  would be able to  watch  any possible developments within the SPLM. 

They presumed that if "Independents" grabbed SPLM reins,  Hilu will  promptly advance to Sudan, otherwise, he would return to US.

They said that following his nomination as  SPLM Northern Sector Secretary General, over a year ago,  Hilu departed Sudan for many reasons, some of which,  were in connection with death of  SPLM Leader Dr. John Garang and the consequential promotion of Lt. Gen., Salva Kiir Mayardit to the Movement's top seat in his succession. 
SPLM member, hailing from the Nuba Mountains area,  who had defected after CPA conclusion, Telephone Kuku Abugalha,  disclosed that intimacy had always  been lacking between the two men, Kiir and Hilu. According to him, Kiir started to exclude SPLM elements pro-Garang particularly Al-Hilu who was assigned to command over Nuba Mountains area in succession of Yousif Kuwa who had been, as well, in divergence with Kiir.
Abugalha, began to criticize Hilu on his activities in the Northern Sector and allowed the ex- State Minister to the Presidency, Telar Deng to interfere in Hilu's business in that said sector. He added that there was an early sensing of the attempt by Bahr Al Ghazal Dinkas to control the SPLM leading positions and Hilu decided to quit for US.
Attempts made by Pagan Amum, Arman and Kiir himself to make Hilu to return and resume his activities in SPLM were in vain.
Sources said that Amum and Arman motives were different from those of Kiir as the formers were after strengthening of the New Sudan Group against "The Independents", while Kiir has been trying to restore Nuba people's support to SPLM  by convincing Hilu to rejoin.
Abugalha, believes that Kiir will not gain much in getting Hilu back as the Nuba people were not satisfied with Hilu's leadership and held him accountable for unrealized gains that should have been secured during Naivasha Talks bearing in mind his good relationship with Garang.
Contrary to Abugalha's view, secretary of Al-Hilu's office, Walid Hamid argues that the return of  Hilu would be positive and will indicate that the Movement is still sticking to its announced basic principles and course of action charted in 1983, hence determined to realize the "New Sudan" theme on the ground.
Other observers assume that given the current political variables within the Movement, Hilu is not expected to return soon. Rather he will wait  till the New Sudan Group has succeeded in completely controlling power over  the Movement, as he cannot exclude the probability that Kiir might  one day crack on the Group, since  he does not always trust them. They presumed that Kiir sacked Telar Deng and Aleu Ajang  (Independents)  unwillingly and only to avoid a coup that could be led by Amum and his group.
They added that, as a prudent man of intelligence, Kiir has been able to collect information, analyzed them and took the decision to sacrifice two elements close to him in order to foil any conspiracy against him. 


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