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News and Press ReleasesInterviews with Cdr ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Adam al-Hilu, Deputy Chairman of Sudan People’s Liberation Moveme

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Interviews with Cdr ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Adam al-Hilu, Deputy Chairman of Sudan People’s Liberation Moveme

07-12-2017, 01:25 AM
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Interviews with Cdr ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Adam al-Hilu, Deputy Chairman of Sudan People’s Liberation Moveme

    01:25 AM July, 12 2017

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    Abd al-‘Aziz Adam al-Hilu

    In March 2017, A’ayin News Website exclusively conducted an interview with Cdr ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Adam al-Hilu, Deputy Chairman of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-North (SPLM/A-N), on the current situation within the movement, the reasons for his resignation and the New Sudan programme. The interview was conducted in Arabic. Below is the English version of it, which has been translated by Dr Gandul I Gandul and edited by Dr Omer M Shurkian.


    A’ayin:

    Why did you decide to resign at this particular moment in time؟ Why now؟

    Al-Hilu:

    I submitted my resignation at this time due to the worsening crisis within the movement since there are no foreseen resolutions on the horizon at the level of the three officers, the Chairman, the Deputy and the Secretary-General (SG). In addition to the lack of consideration to the views of the masses by the leadership, because it’s indulging in the negotiation process with the Government of Sudan (GoS) to reach any deal without regard to any outcomes or consequences thereof, or whether it will lead to the realisation of democratic transformation or not؟

    A’ayin:

    Was the resignation letter intended for the public؟ Why was it sent to the Nuba Mountains Liberation Council (NMLC)؟

    Al-Hilu:

    Yes, the letter of resignation is an internal document addressed to the NMLC. It has highlighted the nature of the internal crisis with utmost transparency, including the broad scope of issues that must be taken into consideration by the NMLC during its deliberations to reach recommendations and decisions that will help resolve the crisis. However, the leaking of the resignation at that particular time led to intervention by external parties with negative results regardless of the fundamental issues raised by the letter. As I mentioned earlier, this letter was directed to the NMLC because it is the highest legislative political institution in the absence of the National Liberation Council (NLC). In addition, polarisation has taken place at the level of the three executive officers. The polarisation in which the Chairman and the SG have become parts of the disagreement (problem), therefore is complicating the possibility of reaching a solution at the highest level.

    A’ayin:

    How do you respond to those who say the current NMLC illegitimate؟

    Al-Hilu:

    This Council has been in existence since 2013 and the meeting was held with the knowledge and approval of the Chairman and the SG. I believe the illegality of this Council has come to exist because its decisions and recommendations contradict with the interests of some people, but it is quite appealing enough that the NMLC represents the people of the Nuba Mountains, and this is its greatest legitimacy.

    A’ayin:

    The SPLM-N leadership accused the NMLC of exceeding its powers, even it (the leadership) claimed that some from outside the membership infiltrated into the SPLM-N, do you agree؟ Did the NMLC in fact exceed its powers؟ Or was the issue of legitimacy raised in order to silence the opposition to undercut the principles of democracy؟

    Al-Hilu:

    The NLC, which spreads and promotes these accusations, is not elected. If so, how can it challenge the legality of the NMLC’s decisions and on what basis, bearing in mind that the NLC itself is the one that appointed the NMLC؟ Certainly, the NMCL, the representatives of the people has the absolute right to discuss all issues and policies adopted by the leadership that affect their people. Now that we have come back to the theory of “divine truth” again in the name of revolution, it really surprises and makes you wonder! Regarding the question of the participation of non-NMLC members, it is quite normal in parliamentary norms to allow councils to use experts to help their members do their work professionally, but those experts are not entitled to vote for or against any issue in the ballot. The argument against such participation is weak and does not detract from the legitimacy or powers of the NMCL. However, as I mentioned earlier, the reason for this non-objective criticism is due to the dissatisfaction of those parties with the outcomes of the NMLC meetings, and their desperate attempt to search for excuses to invalidate these decisions.

    A’ayin:

    According to the latest press release issued by [Mubarak] Ardoul, there are many points that address some of the concerns you raised and highlighted in your resignation letter. These are: the SPLM-N preparation for drafting its manifesto and look at the amended constitution, the formation of the NLC, a meeting to discuss self-determination, the status of the Sudan People's Liberation Army, and the preclusion of its reintegration with the government regular army. In your opinion, are these measures adequately addressed؟

    Al-Hilu:

    Ardoul’s statement reaffirms and recognizes the existence of the crisis and default within the movement, such as the absence of the manifesto, failure to build or form institutions, non-compliance with the SPLM-N institutions, and non-adherence to the principle of fair representation of elements involved in the movement. In addition, the statement is full of contradictions and non-adherence to the values of democracy and the use of overarching-decisions. This has made it difficult to inoculate the spirit of inclusiveness/collectiveness and transgress the customs and traditional methods used in the revolutionary movements’ action. The contradictions included in the statement also tend to nullify decisions made and recommendations formulated by the people’s representatives, such as the call to hold the “Extraordinary Conference” of the movement. In summary, [they are] “taking matters into their own hands” and not by the people. This overarching spirit will not help in finding solutions that address the ills of the movement.

    A’ayin:

    If the SPLM-N leadership were to address most of your concerns highlighted in your message, would you reconsider the resignation and continue as the Movement’s Deputy Chairman؟

    Al-Hilu:

    This resignation was intended to allow the SPLM institutions to correct and resolve its organisational issues in a collective and democratic manner for the sake of the cause. None of my goals are to have higher positions at all. But my supreme goal is to see a strong and effective popular movement moving in the right direction to realise the dream of a New Sudan.

    A’ayin:

    How do you think that the SPLM as a movement throughout the Sudan will be affected by your resignation and the leak of your message to the NMLC؟

    Al-Hilu:

    The SPLM as a movement and a vision will not be affected by the exit of a person or even several people whatever his/their contributions were or are. I am one individual, and my absence will not affect the struggle. In fact, my resignation will open the way for the movement to get rid of the negative effects of my presence as the Deputy Chairperson, and it will move forward with vigor and effectiveness towards achieving its goals. With respect to the issue of the leak of my letter of resignation, it may have been in the interest of the cause by providing the Sudanese people with some facts regarding the internal crisis of the movement which would probably help with resolving it. It was said: “All that is harmful might benefit”.

    A’ayin:

    The decision to resign and express your opinion has been accepted by the Nuba who have shown a resounding support for your position. Does this indicate that the Nuba people were frustrated by the leadership of the the SPLM-North for a while؟

    Al-Hilu:

    Anyone who follows social media postings and newspapers since 2013 is aware of the fidget in the SPLM membership and a lot of criticism directed at its leadership. This was not from the masses in the Nuba Mountains alone, but also from most of the membership of the SPLM in various sectors. The NMLC responded to the letter because it expressed their views, and stirred the same issues that they were concerned with for so long without finding anyone to listen and address them.

    A’ayin:

    Are you afraid that the SPLM leadership may split into two camps؟

    Al-Hilu:

    The SPLM cannot split into two camps because it has a vision and clear objectives: either realisation of a New Sudan or the same “Old Sudan” with its known ailments. So, the representatives of the “Old Sudan” will continue to embrace it whereas the representatives of the New Sudan will remain to continue the struggle for it. The SPLM is one and the goal is one, both are integral parts.

    A’ayin:

    The SPLM has agreed to add more individuals to the negotiating delegation in Addis Ababa - including Major General Izzat Koukou, and Acting Governor, but [Yasser] Arman continues to lead the talks. What guarantees, if any, have been given to you about your concerns regarding self-determination, the integration of the military and whether they will be modified or addressed؟

    Al-Hilu:

    It is not a matter of the number of members, leadership and ranks or levels involved. The question is how to determine the end-state objective from the negotiation process. In the case of an agreement on a clear goal and clear ceilings, then it does not matter who will represent the movement or lead the negotiating delegation.

    A’ayin:

    The problem you have raised – namely, self-determination - means the process that determines a country’s own state and defines loyalties, and the form of government. To be clear, do you suggest that the two regions should achieve full independence, as Southern Sudan؟ The National Congress Party (NCP) has already rejected this demand in peace talks according to news reports: is it possible that this demand prevents the peace negotiations from moving forward؟

    Al-Hilu:

    The SPLM calls for voluntary unity as a matter of principle. In this context, the demand for the right to self-determination is a condition: either as a united secular democratic New Sudan, or opt for self-determination. But the seditious picketers have stripped the conditional statement from its context, and then aggressively attacked it. It’s unfortunate that a lot of people of this type are out there, including some affiliates of the New Sudan project. On the other hand, we do not care about the opinion and the position of the NCP on the demand for self-determination. Of course, it (the NCP) has the right to even refuse to hear this word because it is a democratic mechanism that strips it of hegemony. As we demand self-determination, we genuinely seek to address the root causes of the crisis to find effective solutions to put an end to the relentless wars that have been taking place in Sudan since 1955 once for all. This is critical because it would finally enable the Sudanese people to devote their energy and time for building and reconstruction of the country in order to catch up with the developed countries. Nonetheless, the right to independence is not too much or too far for the people of the Nuba Mountains, but the priority is now for fair and just unity.

    A’ayin:

    What do you say to those who fear that the people of the Nuba Mountains are calling for separation, and that this resignation was a spark for such a demand؟

    Al-Hilu:

    These are the fears of the centralists and the hegemonic and monotheistic advocates in a country that is marked by diversities. These fears and worries are baseless, however. Why do they want the Nuba people to accept to live as second-class citizens in their own homeland while the sword of jihad (holy war) is hanging over their heads and necks since 1992, and a central government that has completed all the tasks before it except fighting and attacking the Nuba by all means, including the weapons of mass destruction (WMD), such as chemical weapons, aerial bombardment and artillery shelling to exterminate the Nuba and occupy their lands؟ Therefore, those who fear must first ask themselves about what have they provided for the Nuba to attract them and others to choose the unity or for Sudan to remain united؟

    A’ayin:

    Please explain, how do you think self-determination and the vision of the New Sudan can work side by side as some thought that these are two different paths؟

    Al-Hilu:

    The vision of New Sudan includes the “right to self-determination” because it is a fundamental human and a democratic right of peoples. It is complementary and deep into the principle of just unity based on freedom, justice and equality such as to eliminate self-awarded privileges by a few clique. But if some are determined to hold onto their self-proclaimed rights, then they must leave others alone. Here comes the principle of voluntary unity.

    A’ayin:

    One point highlighted in your message is the decision of the SPLM leadership to allow the SPLA to be immediately integrated into the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) if a peace agreement is reached. Disarmament was one of the reasons the SPLA returned to war in 2011. What could be the reason or motive behind this decision from your point of view؟

    Al-Hilu:

    I do not know their motives. But the important thing is that everyone is aware of the nature of the NCP and its history of non-compliance with the agreements. The NCP is unwilling to make any concessions or compromise that would lead to a just and a lasting peaceful solution to the Sudanese problem. So, its main objective behind these negotiations is to disarm the SPLA forces. Once the weapons are collected from the SPLA, it will return to the same exclusionary policies against the Nuba and the rest of the marginalised people, perpetuating the cultural genocide and bodily extinction, as it is now doing in Darfur by targeting civilians, and in Khartoum through the use of excessive force in the face of unarmed demonstrators.

    A’ayin:

    A press release issued by the [Sudan] People’s [Liberation] Army-North claims that it will open a new military front in Darfur. Is this realistic؟ Does the SPLA have these capabilities؟

    Al-Hilu:

    This propaganda is misplaced, because the opening of fronts is not done through press releases.

    A’ayin:

    There have been a lot of propaganda against you - like the ethnic claim, maybe this is a very difficult and sensitive subject, especially when considering all the sacrifices you have made to the movement. Does it affect you؟ Does this mean, despite the efforts of the SPLM-North of national totalitarianism, the SPLM is still ethnically driven and unable to accept other societies؟

    Al-Hilu:

    Those campaigns that exploit ethnicity do not affect my morale, because their source has always been the opponents of the New Sudan project. These campaigns are not new. But they have been lately exploited against me as the SPLM-N Deputy-Chairman to pass agenda and policies harmful to the future of the revolution. So, I had referred to this propaganda in my letter. The SPLM itself is a national movement and is open to all Sudanese regardless of their ethnicity and as evidenced by me joining it since 1985. Additionally, the NMLC decisions unanimously rejected my resignation and it persists that I continue to stay in the movement’s leadership. This is yet another biggest proof of the movement’s nationalism. The presence of hundreds of different ethnic groups within the SPLA is another evidence of its respect and acceptance of the others in its ranks and files.

    A’ayin:

    What is your wish for the future movement in Sudan؟

    Al-Hilu:

    I hope that the SPLM will overcome this crisis, emerge stronger, more democratic than ever and collective participation in decision-making is attained in order to be able to take its rightful place in leading the process of change in Sudan and put an end to the current wars and contradictions in the Sudanese state once for all.




                  

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