October 9, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s Islamic Constitution Front (ICF) has called on president Omer Hassan al-Bashir to give up power and form a national unity government.
- FILE - Hardliner Islamic cleric Abdel-Hay Youssef speaks after a mass "standing prayer" organized by Islamic Groups to honour al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who was shot dead in Pakistan, in Khartoum May 3, 2011 (Reuters)
ICF is composed of several Islamist group and individuals mostly representing Salafist groups and individuals as well as far-right political parties.
The coalition was officially launched in Khartoum on 28 February 2012, with the stated aim to make Sudan’s constitution based on Islamic Shar’ia Law.
The ICF rapporteur, Ahmed Malik, in a press conference on Wednesday, vehemently attacked the government on the way it responded to protests, asserting that excessive use of force led to the death of dozens of people including children.
Late last month, violent clashes erupted between the demonstrators and security forces in different parts of the Sudan following the government’s decision to remove fuel subsidies leading to at least 70 deaths according to official figures and more than a 200 according to human rights organizations, activists, and opposition.
Sudanese authorities said they arrested 700 in connection with the riots and denied using live ammunition against protesters. They accused outside elements of firing at the demonstrators, namely rebels from Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF).
Malik held the government responsible for the death of protestors and added that even if they were killed by a third party [as the government claim], the government was responsible for their protection, demanding that the parliament summons the interior minister for investigation.
He said that the ICF supports people’s demand for the removal of the regime through peaceful means, adding that they call for the escalation of demonstrations and sit-ins.
The Islamist figure called for implementing Islamic Shar’ia Law in words and deeds and forming a committee of Ulama (religious scholars) to cancel all laws and practices which are incompatible with Shar’ia , emphasizing that all Sudanese people are Muslims.
Sudan is home to Coptic Christians and well as Christians in South Kordofan and Blue Nile States, where rebels are currently fighting the government. Following the secession of South Sudan, Bashir underscored Sudan’s Arab-Islamic identity and vowed to draft a 100% Islamic constitution.
Malik further called for forming a national government of fair and respectable figures to restructure the state’s institutions and appointing a prime minister with open mandate to run the government and conduct immediate reforms prior to holding fair and transparent elections.
He warned against the outbreak of civil war similar to that which took place in Somalia and did not rule out the occurrence of assassinations, saying that Sudan could be divided into five states.
The rapporteur added that the SRF rebels have sleeping cells in Khartoum in addition to the armed bandits, considering them the “next danger”.
The ICF secretary general, Nasser Alseed, for his part, said that Bashir’s government has brought the country to a standstill and added that corruption has become rampant and the country is on the verge of collapse.
He pointed to the tight security measures and absence of basic freedoms, saying that the government did not value human lives pointing to its use of tanks and heavy weapons to quell the protests.