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Sudan’s Turabi: our engagement in dialogue is driven by desire to reunite Islamic forces


April 12, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The leader of Sudan’s opposition Popular Congress Party (PCP), Hassan Al-Turabi, said they have agreed to engage in unconditional dialogue with the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) in order to unify Islamic forces and maintain cohesion of the country.

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Head of the Popular Congress Party (PCP), Hassan al-Turabi gestures during an interview in Khartoum on 3 October 2012 (Photo: Reuters)

In an interview with Al-jazeera TV broadcast on Friday, Turabi said that the majority of Sudan’s political parties had accepted the government’s call for dialogue because they realise that arms proliferation is a divisive issue and represents a real danger to unity in the country.

The Islamist leader said his decision to join the dialogue was driven by the desire to discuss urgent issues.

“The rules of governance in Islam allow for offering [a] wide range of freedoms not tyranny, and provide that unity of the country must be based on a contract of citizenship and consensus,” he said.

Turabi stressed the aim of his party’s participation in national dialogue is to “restore cohesion among Sudanese people and between the Islamic forces and other political forces”, adding that pressing “regional and international circumstances dictated rapprochement with the regime”.

Several factions within the PCP have since warned that the collapse of the regime would mean end of the Islamic political project, calling on Islamists within the government and opposition to join efforts in order to preserve an Islamic state in Sudan.

Power struggles and corruption scandals have rocked the ruling party.

It is understood the NCP is prepared to make some concessions to Turabi’s PCP and the National Umma Party (NUP), led by Sadiq Al-Mahdi, in order to pave the way for a large political base for the regime, with the Democratic Unionist Party already agreeing to participate in the government.

The PCP leader said the party was prepared to continue with dialogue until an agreement is reached on national issues and a reasonable timeframe is set to discuss them.

Turabi denied that he preconditioned the PCP’s engagement in national dialogue with the sacking of former first vice-president Ali Osman Taha and former presidential advisor Nafie Ali Nafie, but acknowledged that some opposition parties had stipulated allowing greater political freedoms before taking part in the dialogue.

Turabi holds deep-seated personal hostility towards Taha and has accused him of standing behind his removal from power.

The PCP split from the NCP following 1999’s bitter power struggle between Bashir and Turabi, which resulted in the opposition leaders being ousted from his post as parliamentary speaker and chairman of the ruling party.

Turabi later established the PCP and has since been a vociferous critic of the very regime whose army-backed seizure of power in 1989 he orchestrated.

The Islamist leader has underscored that political forces look forward to achieving a peaceful transition of power and a just settlement of regional grievances.

He said that political forces are calling for greater public freedoms and have demanded that the NCP address urgent issues, particularly those relating to peoples’ livelihoods.

The PCP leader said that hopes for resolving the Darfur crisis are increasing, saying the Um Jaras peace forum had managed to settle most of the tribal disputes in the region.

He said that Sudan’s political forces also sought to improve relations with South Sudan, in the hopes that a newborn state might one day re-join Sudan.

In an address to the nation in January, Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir announced a four-point plan for reform “to stop the war and bring peace, free political society, fight against poverty and revitalise national identity”.

He also called on political forces and rebel groups, as long as they lay down their arms, to engage in dialogue to agree on the implementation of a national reform process.

NCP officials, including Bashir, have so far brushed aside opposition calls to delay the 2015 general elections, and have also rejected the formation of a transitional government that would work on drafting a new constitution to prepare the country for the polls.

The NUP and PCP are the only major opposition parties that have so far accepted Bashir’s call for national dialogue.

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  • 13 April 2014 08:07, by Jalaby

    It looks like that, I listened to Turaby interview with Al-Jazeera TV yesterday and it looks like their party is going to reunite again!
    Actually, I don’t mind they reunite again but they should acknowledge a true democracy in Sudan and they should know that excluding others or underestimating the democracy process in Sudan will never be acceptable at all!

    repondre message

    • 13 April 2014 08:14, by Jalaby

      Not only NCP & PCP parties but I encourage all other Sudanese national parties to reunite again like Umma party (NUP) and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), communist party, Arab unionist parties, etc and Sudan government should be represented by all of them because that’s the only way out since Sudan is so big and can’t be ruled by only one party!

      repondre message

  • 13 April 2014 08:35, by Akol Liai Mager

    Bring it on for your quick downfall together so that North Sudanese will not be cheated against by a certain Islamic group saying that they are not part of the killing of innocent people. In addition to your reunification, bring Yousif Al-Qaradhawi who is currently facing expulsion from his Doha’s base and the Osama Bin Laden’s scenario is repeated.

    repondre message

    • 13 April 2014 09:05, by Jalaby

      Akol Liai Mager,
      You’re best example for Islamophobia if you really know what does Islamophbia mean!
      Although Islamist people accept the democracy and to judge to the ballot boxes and when the people elected them in a free and democratic election the west rejected them and supported a coup like what is happening in Egypt now and what

      repondre message

      • 13 April 2014 09:14, by Jalaby

        what happened in Algeria before in 1988 when Algerians voted for the Islamists but France and western governments rejected that result and set out a coup and put Algeria in huge chaos and mess last for 10 years where huge blood was melted down because of them!
        I believe the Islamists people in Sudan know the dirty game and they will never rule by themselves again!

        repondre message

        • 13 April 2014 10:50, by Akol Liai Mager

          Jalaby, do you really think that I’m a Islamphobia sufferer? You are wrong, just visit World’s Bank Death Index List and don’t be surprised if you see the world’s 3 top people killers as;
          1. Islam,
          2. Cancer,
          3. Starvation and its born diseases and the list goes on from there.

          repondre message

          • 13 April 2014 10:59, by Akol Liai Mager

            For your information, Fugitive Bashir wants to wind back unwind history back to 1989 as he is now convinced that he will either die in the Hague or go to Farouk’s cemetery wanted for justice. Wind-back dream will never come true. Feel free to use West and Israel as a toilet paper as usual, but don’t delude yourself that people are stupid to not know your lies. Enjoy your delusion man.

            repondre message

  • 14 April 2014 07:47, by Jalaby

    To Sudantribune
    I can see you removed Mohamed Ali2 comments because he criticized you and said you’re lying about Turaby talking about reuniting the Islamists,why removed his comments? you guys as journalists talk about free media and every body right to express freely about his opinion and now you censored other comments because critisizing

    repondre message

    • 14 April 2014 07:54, by Jalaby

      you? this is his opinion and it could be right or wrong but only represents his believe and this is going to be a shameful when you guys call for everybody right to express his opinion and you condemn Sudan government for censoring the media and arresting the journalists, don’t you think censoring people comment here is against your principle that you call for it?

      repondre message

      • 14 April 2014 07:59, by Jalaby

        France is hosting your website now, would it be acceptable for you if France decides to freeze your website because you write something that France doesn’t like? French government can’t stop your website no matter what you say about them and only the court can stop you because it’s a democratic country!

        repondre message

        • 14 April 2014 08:02, by Jalaby

          Please stick to your principles and stop behaving with third world attitude despite you live in France and enjoying the democracy in France!
          It’s really shameful when you call for something and then you yourself abuse it!

          repondre message

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