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Sudan’s Al-Mahdi agrees with SPLM-N and PCP to hike opposition activities


November 14, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The leader of Sudan’s opposition National Umma Party (NUP), Al-Sadiq al-Mahdi, held a surprise meeting on Wednesday with the secretary-general of the armed rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N), Yasir Arman, and the assistant secretary-general of the Islamist opposition Popular Congress Party (PCP), Ali Al-Haj.

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Yasser Arman, Secretary General of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (R) talks to al-Sadiq al-Mahdi, National Umma party leader (file/Reuters)

In a joint statement seen by Sudan Tribune, the meeting that took place in London has reached an understanding to escalate opposition activities, and discussed issues of transition to a new political system.

London’s meeting came as a surprise given the differences NUP is known to have with other allies in the opposition coalition National Consensus Forces (NCF), including the PCP, over the methods that should be used to change the regime.

Whereas NCF factions advocate an Arab Spring-style to approach the goal of regime change, Al-Mahdi opines that the opposition is not ready yet for such move and urges his allies to restructure the NCF and forge public consensus around the Democratic Alternative Charter (DAC) which should guide their struggle for regime change and peaceful transition to a democratic, decentralized system of governance in the event of a regime change.

NCF allies privately question whether Al-Mahdi is genuine about regime change at all given his repeated meetings with officials from the ruling National Congress Party (NCP), the latest of which took place last week with second Vice-President Al-Haj Adam Youssef.

The perception that Al-Mahdi is maintaining an equivocal position is fueled by the fact that while his party remains in the ranks of opposition, his son Abdel Rahman is serving as an assistant to President Al-Bashir.

According to the joint release, London’s meeting commended the call Al-Mahdi made last week for his supporters to hold peaceful sit-ins to protest the government’s insistence on rejecting reforms.

The three opposition figures agreed to escalate political activities and dialogue about the transitional period agreed under the DAC. They also agreed that the current Sudanese situation requires escalation of unifying political parties, civil society groups and the rebel coalition Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF), of which SPLM-N is a key member, in order to reach the goal of a comprehensive constitutional conference.

The attendants of the meeting pledged to develop an intensive outreach campaign targeting members of the international community in order to convey their views on the issues facing Sudan and the dangers that the country is being dragged to by the policies of the regime.

The meeting is likely to alert the NCP due to its sensitivity to any contacts or cooperation between opposition parties and rebel armed groups like the SPLM-N which the NCP refuses to negotiate with and accuses it of being a proxy force for South Sudan.


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  • 15 November 2012 13:33, by panchol

    Bravo,SPLM/N & PCP.
    Unity makes strong bonds while action sound louder than words.
    keep on well!

    repondre message

    • 15 November 2012 14:55, by Paul Ongee

      The only problem with the Sudanese opposition forces in Khartoum is lack of genuine unity, trust and leadership squabble among themselves but above all lack of sacrifice and funding. That’s why Omer Al-Bashir can appoint whoever is interested in earning money instead of developing new political dispensation.

      repondre message

      • 15 November 2012 14:56, by Paul Ongee

        They believe that regime change comes automatic without a price to pay. Regime change through Arab Spring -style or not requires sacrifice to effect it so that Sudan forgets about the usual process of coup d’état. Coup d’état is not likely anymore; another alternative is to have a unified military and political wings as well.

        repondre message

        • 15 November 2012 14:57, by Paul Ongee

          Otherwise, you are giving Omer Al-Bashir three options: either to appoint whoever agrees with position offered, or agree with opposition who offers to talk without interfering with NCP’s agenda or a slap in the face without losing your life until elections in 2015.

          repondre message

          • 15 November 2012 14:57, by Paul Ongee

            The question that should be asked is why should opposition forces continue whining in the media for a miracle to happen through NCF/DAC or whatever you name it? There are two types of Arab Spring-styles: without bloodshed as in the case of Tunisia or Egypt but not in Libya or Syria.

            repondre message

            • 15 November 2012 14:58, by Paul Ongee

              It’s up to Sudanese opposition forces to choose which one applies to the political climate of Sudan if the urgency of regime change is there instead of dwelling on negative discussions over and over while military wing (SFR) is already on the ground to back them up. Wasting time on the issue of drafting constitution or who should lead will never attract international support.

              repondre message

              • 15 November 2012 14:59, by Paul Ongee

                Remember, Bashir will waste no time to crush whoever confronts him and it will be no more house arrests or political imprisonment, only “shehkin yau bistakal fil ragaftak.” Old opposition leaders should consider giving opportunity to young generation who aspires to lead like what happens in China and other countries. Old leaders can act as consultants only to help direct the country.

                repondre message

    • 15 November 2012 16:32, by zulu

      a strong alliance of the opposition can best guarantee support of EU and US. See the example from Lybia and Syria since the Sudanese regime is akin to these two in everyway. US cannot help a sparse opposition that has no coherence and is not possing legitimate threats at all. Good to go for this unity to bring SUdan to a democracy.

      repondre message

  • 15 November 2012 13:50, by panchol

    The option of Arab-spring will bring Government change in Sudan.The charges of NCP party are well known all over the world and the charges for NCP are as follows:
    1.Corruption and Nepotism
    4.Supporting Terrorists
    and the list goes.
    God will help you, NCP ruling party will not leave unless Sudanese Parties joint their to topple the regime.

    repondre message

  • 15 November 2012 14:35, by majok

    That is good Mr Al-Mahdi.Take your arms and joint all rebels ,unite with them start fingting instead of wasting time untill your secret will be known by NCP.Action is better than talking .

    repondre message

  • 15 November 2012 18:34, by Kalo

    Sadig Almadi is not the kind of person you trust in,Arman,away from Him,his party including is son Abduraman is participating in the government of NCP,he was former prime minister and did nothing in Sudan,he i am afraid he can betray us like what other guys are doing in JEM,otherwise all of you arabs in Sudan take up the arm or popular uprising rather than depending on African.

    repondre message

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