October 4, 2017 (KHARTOUM) – The opposition National Umma Party (NUP) said they would not take part in the extraordinary general conference of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North led Abdel Aziz al-Hilu (SPLM-N al-Hilu) on Friday due to the refusal of South Sudanese embassy to grant a visa to their delegation.
Different Sudanese opposition groups said they would travel to the rebel conference in the Nuba Mountains area of South Kordofan state to show their solidarity with the cause of the group which experienced a rift last April.
To reach the SPLM-N al-Hilu stronghold area, the participants need to travel to Juba and from there travel to the northern South Sudan before to cross the border into the Nuba Hills.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the NUP said they were keen to participate in the SPLM-N but the refusal of the South Sudan Embassy in Khartoum to grant visas “to delegations participating in the conference prevented our arrival and participation in the conference”.
“We will closely follow with interest the meetings of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, in Kauda, and we extend our good wishes for the success of the historical conference, which comes at an important juncture in the march of the Movement.”
The NUP, also, expressed hopes that the SPLM-N overcomes its current crisis and that the conference constitutes a turning point to build trust between the comrades and achieve an organizational and political unity.
The SPLM-N is now splinted in two groups one led by Malik Agar and another led by Abdel Aziz al-Hilu. The latter had accused the former of abandoning the right of self-determination and accepting the merger of the SPLA in the national army immediately. Also, the former leader of the unified Movement is accused of neglecting to build the political structures of the group.
SOUTH SUDANESE EMBASSY CONFIRMS
For its part, the South Sudanese embassy in Khartoum issued a statement confirming the rejection of visa for the opposition groups, pointing that “the conference will be held in a Sudanese region”.
The diplomatic mission further reiterated its keenness to “promoting bilateral relations and advancing common interests to strengthening peace, security and stability between the two brotherly countries”.
Sudan in the past accused the South Sudanese government of allowing the SPLM-N to bring weapons and ammunition into its territory.