Abdel Aziz Adam Al Hilu, the leader of the SPLA rebels in the disputed border area of Southern Kordofan, emerged silently from the darkness, beaming genially.
We had travelled for the best part of a day and night for this meeting, and we had no idea where we were, beyond the fact that we were in the open, somewhere in the Nuba mountains. We had travelled in strict radio silence - all satellite phones switched off to ensure Sudanese intelligence in Khartoum could not trace us.
Abdul Aziz had agreed to give Al Jazeera English his first exclusive interview since the outbreak of hostilities in this remote but strategically important and resource rich border state, which lies between the newly separate countries of North and South Sudan. And despite the difficulties he was as good as his word.
Once a respected commander in the Sudan People's Liberation Army under John Garang, Abdel Aziz and his Nuban forces were central to Garang's partial victory in the long and bitter civil war with Khartoum - a partial victory which culminated in the creation of the world's newest nation, South Sudan, on July 9.
I say 'partial' because it should not be forgotten that Garang and his movement were not originally fighting for independence for the South, they were fighting to bring down the Khartoum regime and build a new united Sudan, under a new, less Arabic centred, administration.
But as Aziz quickly made clear in our historic interview, that dream of a new administration in Khartoum is still alive. It is often assumed that Abdul Aziz's fight is still tied to that of the SPLA in the South.
And in one sense it is - they are still allies - indeed they still share the same name. But now of course Abdel Aziz's SPLA exists in a different country. It is, strictly speaking, an independent rebel army based in the north and fighting the Khartoum government. And that is not an assessment Abdel Aziz rejects.
"We believe that we are part of the North," he says. "But we want a new government, we want fundamental change in Khartoum. We want a restructuring of central government so that each region, each state, is represented in the centre according to its weight. We want a new a new Sudan, built on new basis of justice, of equality, of freedom."
And he issued what amounted to little less than a call to arms to all the forces in the north which oppose the increasingly isolated regime of Omar al-Bashir in Khartoum.
"I call upon all the Sudanese people, the forces of democracy, people who are aspiring for justice to unite," he says. "We will struggle to topple this regime - to remove it and to bring a new democratic system of governance and put an end to wars and continuous hatred between the Sudanese people."
Source: Al Jazeera