Crossfire War: Sudan – SPLM Withdraws from Committee Investigating Riots

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SPLM Withdraws from Committee Investigating Riots After Police Raid Refugee Camp

Night Watch: KHARTOUM – In what could be a sign of the government’s peace agreement coming apart, the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) has withdrawn from a committee investigating the riots that followed the death of their leader John Garang, after a police raid on a refugee camp.

Police surrounded Mayo camp, searching houses and arresting residents. The Interior Ministry declined to comment. Deng Goc, a senior SPLM official in Khartoum was quoted by Reuters, “We think the authorities are doing this for political reasons. They want to push out the SPLM and make us look bad in front of the Sudanese people because we are now in government with them.”

If this is true then the new unity is in name only and will continue to unravel before the month is over. Mayo camp is home to tens of thousands of southern Sudanese and people who fled the fighting in the western Darfur region.

Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir is to meet today the SPLM’s new leader Salva Kiir to discuss the raids. A year ago Iran’s then President Mohammad Khatami spent three days in Khartoum, even addressing the Khartoum government and emphasized the economic opportunities in the Sudan because of its oil. Relations with Tehran is of paramount importance to al-Bashir. Under Tehran-Riyadh’s advice he may have written off the people in the south. The Islamic world will make certain Khartoum is better armed and financed.

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Willard Payne is an international affairs analyst who specializes in International Relations. A graduate of Western Illinois University with a concentration in East-West Trade and East-West Industrial Cooperation, he has been providing incisive analysis to NewsBlaze. He is the author of Imagery: The Day Before.