The leadership of the Sudan Liberation Movement-Abdul Wahid (SLM-AW) held an urgent meeting at the movement’s premises in Kampala on December 31st to discuss appointing members in various leadership roles and address the movement’s accumulating debt.
Abdul Wahid Mohamed al Nur himself did not attend the meeting, but was later briefed by phone, according to a source, which asked not to be identified for fear of being kicked out of the movement.
Abdul Wahid was urged by phone, by the present leaders to assign people to the various vacant positions, so that the movement’s hierarchical map is filled.
SLM-AW Running Into Debt
The meeting also discussed the increasing debt which is result of the movement’s inability to pay the rents of the houses they are renting. They concluded that because the SLM-AW was inactive, the support it used to receive has also stopped, highlighting that they do not have active offices anywhere. Calls to active office were also made to the distressed leaders.
Abdulwahid replied that he himself was in a dire financial situation and urged the members to be patient and try to get friends and family to help with paying rent.
Previously Abdul Wahid has been accused on stealing millions of dollars from the movement and disappearing for an amount of time.
Seeking Regional Allies
However, SLM-AW is seeing an improved relationship with Egypt, Uganda and South Sudan. Although it publicly denies it, South Sudan provides a safe haven for the various Sudanese rebels. Uganda allows them to operate freely and Egypt has also warned up to the Sudanese rebels and this in turn has encouraged them to try to open a regional office there.
Other international support that he has is from Israel, where there are persistent reports that Abdul Wahid, who opened an office in Tel Aviv in 2008, receives a monthly stipend from the Zionist entity.
SLM-AW Exiled Leader Shunned
Despite the support he is losing support. Since the beginning of the insurgency he has spent more time outside Darfur than in Sudan. His poor leadership and long absence from the field and absence from meetings encouraged splits and desertions, even among his closest collaborators, and led to factional fighting in various places.
Also his refusal to meet several high-level Sudanese visitors—including prominent members of his own tribe—damaged his reputation and credibility among many of his early supporters. He has been accused of heading the movement for personal gain and not caring about realizing peace.
Increasingly contested by his own commanders because of his self-exile from Darfur and erratic, micromanaging style of leadership, Abdul Wahid settled in Paris when the Abuja peace talks that produced the DPA ended in 2006. His refusal to join post-Abuja peace talks in Qatar also slowly eroded his French support.
Today, SLA-AW has little foreign backing outside of Uganda, South Sudan and now Egypt.