Former rebels of the Sudan’s People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) have described as baseless and unfounded an accusation that the SPLM is amassing forces and escalating tension in the country. This follows Vice President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha’s news conference yesterday, in which he accused the SPLM of causing a political crisis after pulling out their ministers from the country's unity government. Taha also urged the SPLM to return to the capital, Khartoum, to restart work on implementing the fragile North-South peace deal.
But the SPLM denies escalating tensions saying that it is committed to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in 2005, which effectively ended the war. From Khartoum, SPLM Vice Chairman Malik Agar tells reporter Peter Clottey that the vice president’s accusation is regrettable.
“First of all, we expected him to aspire to help in resolving some of the issues in this crisis because he is one of the core engineers of this agreement. His press conference and what has come there is very unfortunate. He has raised so many issues in the press conference, which we not necessarily agree with, and we also respect his opinion that he does not agree with the many issues that we have raised. But the first thing is that either these things are being resolved or not resolved,” Agar said.
He denied the SPLM is massing forces that have reportedly heightened the political crisis.
“It’s not true. That is totally not true because we are not mounting any forces and mounting forces is an intention of war, and we’ve made it clear that again and again that we have no intention of going back to war… and we don’t go to war easily like that. So we are not preparing for war, we are preparing for peace and are committed to the implementation of the CPA,” he noted.
Agar reiterated the SPLM is committed to seeing to the implementation of the agreement that ended the war in 2005.
“To be told that we control ourselves, we have never gone out of control. And we are also committed to the implementation of this agreement. This is why we raised the issues. Those issues are not implemented. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have bothered ourselves to raise issues, which are not implemented. By not implementing the issues, that is what is making the people uncomfortable, uncomfortable because issues that are not implemented are raised. That would defeat the case,” Agar pointed out.
He said the only way to achieving total peace is for the CPA to be fully implemented.
“We are telling our partners to implement the peace to the letter and the spirit, and we are urging them really. This is the only way out for us to continue our partnership. We want them really to commit themselves to the implementation of the CPA. We don’t want to accuse anybody of anything because we are not in the courts of anybody. What we are saying is that there is there are some issues that are not being implemented and we are blaming the other side that they are the cause of not implementing these issues,” he said.