April 16, 2012 (KHARTOUM) — Sudanese presidential assistant Nafie Ali Nafie yesterday slammed two opposition parties for not condemning strongly enough the capture of Heglig by the South Sudanese army last week.
Nafie, who made these remarks on Monday evening at a meeting organized by a mobilisation committee to support the Sudanese army in Khartoum, was reacting to a communiqué released by a coalition of opposition forces during the day.
The National Consensus Forces (NCF) condemned the occupation of Heglig by the South Sudanese army and asked Juba to withdraw its troops from the oil-rich area. The NCF also said it was opposed to the war between the two countries because it is against the interests of the two nations, delays the settlement of outstanding issues and hinders democratic transformation.
Nafie told the crowd that Hassan al-Turabi, leader of the Popular Congress Party (PCP) refused — during an NCF meeting held on Monday — to condemn the occupation of Heglig by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).
PCP’s leader is accused of coordinating with the Sudan People Liberation Movement North (SPLM- N) and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) along with two main factions of Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) in their efforts aiming to topple the regime.
Khartoum says JEM rebels participated in the attack on Heglig and terms them as "mercenaries". Officials in Khartoum also allude to PCP members when they speak about a "fifth column".
Nafie reiterated that he is certain about the relationship of Turabi’s party with JEM rebels stressing that they cannot deny it. He alleged that the PCP Secretary General in Khartoum state Adam al-Tahir Hamdoun was tasked to supervise the designation of a successor to Khalil Ibrahim, JEM’s former leader after his death.
However, the PCP member reached by Sudan Tribune denied this accusation and emphasised that Turabi supported the condemnation of Heglig occupation during the NCF’s meeting.
Nafie further criticised the Sudanese Communist party (SCP) saying its condemnation of the attack came too late saying it was an "attempt to exploit" the general atmosphere in the country against the occupation.
He accused the communists of being part of the South Kordofan rebellion, referring to its past influence of the party among the Nuba Mountains population.
The presidential assistant also censured the National Umma Party (NUP) of Sadiq al-Mahdi for joining the NCF in its position saying that the opposition party cannot try and ride two horses at the same time.
The NUP this month condemned the war between the two sides and urged an end to it. It also called for a national conference to adopt a draft peace agreement to end the conflicts of Blue Nile, Darfur, and South Kordofan.
The Sudanese official vowed to give the South Sudanese government a tough lesson for daring to attack Heglig, and to attack its army in any area that war strategy imposes. He also said that it is "probable" the Sudanese army will advance beyond the border.
The Sudanese army said it reached Heglig region and are surrounding the town and oil fields from three fronts. The army also bombarded on daily basis strategic sites in the Unity State to try and hit the South Sudanese tanks and military convoys.
The Sudanese parliament yesterday declared the South Sudan government dominated by the ruling party, SPLM , as "enemy of Sudan" and vowed to fight it "until we end its rule of the South."
Nafie also accused JEM of participating in the fighting besides the South Sudanese army. He said the army clashed on Monday with the Darfuri rebel group outside the disputed town.
Yesterday, Ashrooq TV, a private Sudanese channel, aired an interview with a JEM fighter allegedly captured after a combat near Heglig. The rebel group did not announce its participation in the fighting over Heglig.
The SLM led by Abdel Wahid al-Nur dissociated itself publicly from the ongoing war between the Sudan and South Sudan. The rebel group said they want to topple the regime but that Heglig battle is motivated by a dispute over border areas between two independent countries.