December 11, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - A senior official at Sudan’s opposition Popular Congress Party (PCP) has disclosed that the party leader, Hassan Al-Turabi, is being approached by influential figures in South Sudan to mediate the current political crisis in the fledgling republic.
- Head of the Popular Congress Party (PCP), Hassan al-Turabi gestures during an interview in Khartoum October 3, 2012 (Reuters)
Influential sources within the PCP told Sudan Tribune that Turabi was asked by prominent political figures in South Sudan to intercede with president Salva Kiir Mayardit who dismissed senior figures from the ruling SPLM and the government sparking an atmosphere of tensions.
Last week, senior SPLM leaders accused Kiir’s leadership style saying it was characterised by corruption and deviation from the party’s vision as well as encouraging regionalism and ethnicity.
They further accused Kiir of forming his own army in the name of presidential guards and intending to form a separate political party that would be linked to the National Congress Party (NCP) in Khartoum.
The sources stressed that mediation stems from Kiir’s respect for Turabi and his appreciation for his political stances and views, stressing that sharp polarisation put South Sudan on the verge of the abyss and could possibly trigger major tribal conflicts.
However, the sources didn’t mention whether Turabi has agreed to mediate or not.
The Islamist leader in July 2013 declared that he has good relations with Juba and praised the South Sudanese leadership. He also expressed hope that relations with South Sudan remain strong despite the secession of July 2011.
SUDAN & S. SUDAN COMMUNISTS MEET IN KHARTOUM
Meanwhile, the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) and its counterpart in South Sudan held a joint meeting on Tuesday in Khartoum.
The SCP delegation was led by its secretary general, Mohamed Mukhtar Al-Khateeb, while the delegation of South Sudan’s communist party was led by, Joseph Modesto.
The SCP spokesperson, Youssef Hussein, said in a statement issued on Wednesday that the meeting discussed the current political situation in Sudan and South Sudan.
Modesto spoke about his recent meetings with the leader of Sudan’s opposition National Umma Party (NUP), Al-Sadig Al-Mahdi and the PCP secretary general, Hassan Al-Turabi, stressing that his party seeks to improve relations between the two peoples.
The SCP statement pointed that both parties emphasised the need for joint cooperation among democratic organizations and civil society besides media coverage for the ongoing events in both countries.
The meeting also asserted that pending issues between the two countries should be resolved through dialogue and negotiations not war and fighting, pointing to the importance of economic and political integration for the benefit of both countries.
The meeting further called for reaching a peaceful settlement on the contested Abyei area and affirmed their rejection of unilateral referendum on the future of the disputed region, demanding establishment of political institutions and allocating a percentage of oil revenue to the area.
The statement pointed out the need for enacting legislation on the four freedoms in both countries and allow freedom of movement of people, animals, and trade on the common boarders.
The two parties agreed to coordinate positions on issues of concern to both countries such as water and debts and draft a joint document to tackle the common issues between the two countries.