North Sudan ruling party says ready to discuss confederation with SPLM

January 12, 2008 (ST)

Sudanese ruling party said today it is poised to discuss introduction of confederal system in the country if there is a formal proposal from its peace partner to open talks in this issue.

The deputy chairman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, Malik Agar Eyre, proposed last week the establishment of confederal system in the whole country. Agar, who seems concerned by the future of his native region, the Bleu Nile, means to have an administrative system similar to southern Sudan.

Mustafa Osman Ismail, the leading member the National Congress Party said on Sunday that his party is ready to discuss such idea if the SPLM, co-signatory of the 2005 peace deal demanded formally to discuss the confederation with them.

Mustafa added that in accordance with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the SPLM can demand to negotiate the implementation of the confederation in the whole country and "then we can discuss it with them."

During Nivasha peace talks deep-rooted differences on the future status of Southern Blue Nile and the Nuba Mountains had emerged between the two parties.

At that time, the SPLM/A demanded the right to self-determination for Southern Blue Nile and the Nuba mountains. This meant holding internationally monitored referenda in each region before the end of the six year interim period to decide whether they would belong to northern or southern Sudan.

Agar, the former minister of investment resigned from his ministerial post to dedicate his time to the Bleu Nile where he was SPLM governor. At the time of civil war, the former rebel group controlled Kurmuk and Yabus counties.

It is not clear whether the SPLM leadership will follow Agar in this demand but the issue confirms the bitterness and deception among SPLM members from these regions particularly after the death of Garang and the strong emergence of a claim for the independence of southern Sudan at the end of 2011 referendum


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