March 15, 2021 (KAUD) – SPLM-North Vice Chairman Joseph Tuka has denied reports claiming he had received military support from Ethiopia to carry out an attack on a border town in Blue Nile State.
On 8 March, the official Sudan News Agency said that Tuka, one of the most prominent aides of Abdel-Aziz al-Hilu, received weapons and ammunition from Ethiopia in the Yabous area on February 27th, to occupy Kurmuk town to disperse the efforts of the Sudanese army on the eastern front.
“For us, the war will only lead to the destruction and breakdown of the country and its fragmentation. Therefore, we went in the direction of giving a chance to a peaceful settlement in support of the slogans of the revolution,” he said in a long interview published on the website of the SPLM-N al-Hilu on Monday.
Speaking about the alleged Ethiopian military support, he said the report was a “lie and fabrication”.
The accusation, he added, indicates that “a component of the transitional government is beating the drums of war because it seeks by hook or crook to implement its war agenda.”
The SPLM Deputy Chairman stated that this allegation and the deployment of government troops on the ground “are nothing more than an excuse and justification for waging war. (against his group)”.
The talks between the SPLM-N al-Hilu and the Sudanese government are stalled over the relation between the state and religion.
The armed group calls to discuss the place of religion in the state within the peace talks. However, the military component voiced its opposition to this request stressing that the peace process is about ending the war and the issue of religion should be discussed in the constitutional conference.
Recently, the head of the Sovereign Council Abdel Fattah al-Burhan met with the SPLM-N in Juba but the two parties did not disclose the outcome of the meeting.
Asked about the peace talks with the government, Tuka said that he was not pessimistic, stressing that “Sudan is open to all possibilities.”
He went to say that they expect a rectification movement to correct the course of the revolution, adding that there are also “warlords who have a coup and war agenda, if successful, will strengthen their grip on power and the joint of the national economy”.
Tuka further pointed out that some are betting on investing in the state of no war and no peace to penetrate the SPLM-N controlled areas through community peace, because they that the armed struggle would vanish inevitability, as he said.