October 24, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - The National Umma Party (NUP) of al-Sadiq al-Mahdi announced that the latter has delayed his planned trip the Ugandan capital, Kampala where he was scheduled to hold meetings with leaders of the rebel coalition known as the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF).
- National Umma Party leader al-Sadiq al-Mahdi (Reuters)
In a statement released today, the NUP said that the postponement was prompted by the incomplete preliminary arrangements that would achieve the desired objectives of the meeting.
The party vowed to continue direct contacts with SRF leaders to finish preparations before the meeting takes place at a later time.
But informed sources said that the NUP delegation visa request with the Ugandan embassy in Khartoum stated that they are seeking a meeting with president Yoweri Museveni which led to the delay in processing their applications in order to consult with Kampala.
The statement also reiterated NUP’s strategic quest for establishing a new system to achieve democratic transformation and comprehensive peace through non-violent means and away from foreign meddling.
The SRF issued a press release this week welcoming the meeting with al-Mahdi but emphasized that it should focus on regime change.
In the past the NUP leader said he will not support toppling the regime without agreeing on an alternative and at times indicated his desire to reform rather than change the regime led by the National Congress Party (NCP).
On Thursday, the NUP announced that it signed an agreement with the Darfur rebel groups of Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and Sudan Liberation Movement of Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM).
The accord states that all sides agree that the "political blockage" affecting Sudan cannot be resolved without a meeting of all civil, military and political forces and without exclusion.
The SLM-MM and JEM have committed to seeking hard to seek such a meeting as a strategic objective and actively participate when it takes place, the NUP said.