July 29, 2021 (KHARTOUM) – The SPLM-N led by Abdel Aziz al-Hilu and SLM headed by Abdel Wahid al-Nur, on Thursday, signed a political declaration calling to reform of the security sector before implementing security arrangements and recognize the tribal ownership of lands.
The joint political declaration comes as the peace talks between the SPLM-N and the transitional government are stalled over how to implement the security arrangements and the extent of separation between the state and religion.
While the SLM-AW says before to engage in negotiations with Khartoum they want to hold Sudanese-Sudanese political dialogue to address the root causes of the Sudanese crisis and restructuring of the state on new foundations.
The two groups reaffirmed their commitment to secularism, democracy, liberalism, equal citizenship before underscoring the need to reform the security sector as a first step in the implementation of the security arrangements.
“The two parties stressed the need for reform of the security sector before starting the implementation of the security arrangements. (Also, they demand) restructuring all state agencies and the entire security system (the regular forces) according to new foundations, as well as dissolving all militias, and private party or tribal security services, and rebuilding a modern national army with a new military doctrine,” further read the declaration.
The SPLM-N al-Hilu accepted to integrate its forces in the national army by the end of the transition, according to the declaration of principles signed on 28 March. However, in the draft framework agreement made by the group on 27 May, the SPLM-N says its forces will integrate the national army once all the militiamen are already absorbed in it.
The SPLM-N fought the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) of the deputy chairman of the Sovereign Council but also tribal militiamen called Reserve Forces who are under the command of the army in the South Kordofan.
The Juba peace agreement signed in October 2020, provides to form a national army on new bases where all the armed groups and militias would be integrated.
However, in May 2021, the RSF general commander who is also the deputy head of the Sovereign Council voiced his rejection of this disposition saying his forces have been established by the parliament, invoking a law passed by the ousted regime.
On June 15, the South Sudanese mediation suspended sine die the negotiations between the transitional government and the SPLM-N, after the two parties after the deadlock over the security arrangement and ways to separate between the state and religion.
The joint demarcation included the recognition of customary land ownership which is a flagship demand by the SLM-AW and its supporters among the displaced people in the Darfur region.
“The comprehensive solution to the Sudanese crisis must include land issues to ensure the return of Hawakeer (traditional or tribal land) seized during the war to its original owners,” further stressed the declaration.
Al-Nur resisted calls by President Salva Kiir to join the South Sudanese mediated peace process.
Also, the exiled leader says he needs the approval of his commanders and the Movement’s political institutions before engaging in a political process with Khartoum.