January 17, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The United States issued a statement on Thursday dismissing accusations made by the Sudanese government that Washington stood behind the "New Dawn" charter signed by opposition parties and armed rebel groups in Uganda this month.
The Sudanese presidential assistant Nafie Ali Nafie, who is also the deputy chairman of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP), said at a press conference on Monday that the U.S. and the European Union (EU) pushed anti-Khartoum forces to sign the charter.
But the U.S. embassy in Khartoum said in a press release it had nothing to do with the Kampala meeting.
"While the United States has been in dialogue with various parties in Sudan, the U.S. was not involved in the sponsoring, financing, organizing or the outcome of the recent meetings in Kampala between the Sudan Revolutionary Front and the National Consensus Forces" the statement said.
The embassy stressed that Washington’s consistent message to all parties in Sudan that conflicts in the East African nation "can only be resolved through political consultations and negotiations".
The signatories to the deal included the National Umma Party (NUP), Popular Congress Party (PCP), Sudanese Communist Party (SCP), Sudan People Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N), Sudan Liberation Movement of Abdel-Wahid Mohamed Nur (SLM-Nur) and Sudan Liberation Movement of Minni Minnawi (SLM-Minnawi).
The participants agreed on the goal of changing the regime but were at odds over means to achieve that through political or military means. They also concurred on the need to prevent exploitation of religion in politics.
The Sudanese government and the NCP launched a fierce campaign against the charter saying it wants to turn Sudan into a secular state and undermine the country’s institutions particularly the military.
The NUP, PCP and SCP later appeared to distance themselves from the agreement saying they were rushed into signing and voiced objections over some of its clauses.
The U.S. emphasized that there will be no military solution to Sudan’s conflicts in South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur adding that "the suffering of millions of Sudanese from these conflicts is a terrible humanitarian price for failure to find a peaceful outcome".
The armed movements in Darfur have formed a coalition known as the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) to unite military efforts in the conflict zones.
The embassy said that a delegation from the SPLM-N is in Washington "to discuss how to reach a resolution to the conflict and humanitarian and human rights crisis in the Sudanese states of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile".
"These talks have only reinforced our view that agreement between the Government of Sudan and the SPLM-N for an immediate cessation of hostilities and humanitarian assistance is an urgent need. The SPLM-N has assured us that this is their priority. We urge the Government of Sudan to begin such talks at the earliest opportunity. This has also been the recommendation of the Africa Union and the UN Security Council" the U.S. embassy said.
Sudan has vowed to crush the rebel groups this year in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile. It has also refused to start peace talks with the SPLM-N despite an AU decision to the contrary.