May 12, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – A top aide to Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir directed fierce criticism at the opposition parties suggesting they are traitors for meeting with rebel leaders battling the government in different parts of the country.
- Sudanese presidential assistant Nafie Ali Nafie (Reuters)
This week representatives from the National Umma Party (NUP), Sudanese Communist Party (SCP), Popular Congress Party (PCP), Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) met in London with delegation from Sudan People Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) led by its chairman Malik Agar.
The participants issued a joint statement saying they reject the use of force to redraw borders between north and south Sudan and called for dialogue between the two neighbors.
This came against the backdrop of the brief occupation by South Sudan army (SPLA) last month of the oil-rich region of Heglig which lies inside South Kordofan state. Juba made a claim to the area saying that it belongs to the south but was annexed through an administrative decision several decades ago.
Sudan armed forces (SAF) regained control of Heglig but SPLA insisted that they withdrew voluntarily.
The Sudanese presidential assistant Nafie Ali Nafie addressing supporters at an event in Khartoum said that the opposition parties are counting on Juba and SPLM-N to help in the process of regime change and thought that Heglig was to be the starting point.
He chided the opposition parties for being slow in condemning the south’s invasion of Heglig saying that their belated position was a "makeup" to save face.
"Those who don’t stand with the armed forces in these circumstances are not one of us," Nafie said before adding that the qualities of patriotism and virility no longer applies to the opposition.
The Sudanese official claimed that there is a fifth column inside the Sudanese capital stressing that he knows them by name and disclosed that they are all under surveillance.
The London meeting called on Khartoum not to use the Heglig incident by the country’s leadership to mobilize the people using racial slogans directed at the people of South Sudan or to utilize it by discrediting any party on grounds of nationalism.
But Nafie dismissed the opposition parties’ call saying that their work with Agar and SPLM-N Secretary General Arman did not earn them anything because these names became a pariah to the Sudanese people who consider them as traitors.
Fighting has been raging since last year between the Sudanese army and SPLM-N rebels in the states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, adjacent to newly-independent South Sudan.
South Kordofan and Blue Nile are home to tens of thousands of fighters who battled Khartoum as part of the southern army during a civil war that ended in 2005. Khartoum accuses Juba of continuing to back the insurgents, which South Sudan denies.
Sudan has rejected a clause in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution adopted this month calling on Khartoum to negotiate with SPLM-N to end the conflict in the border states which led to mass displacement and food shortage.