April 27, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The secretary-general of the opposition National Umma Party (NUP), Ibrahim al-Amin, has acknowledged the existence of differences among party members, with some supporting engagement in national dialogue with the government, while others are calling for the regime to be overthrown.
- The leader of Sudan’s National Umma Party (NUP) and the former prime minister, Al-Sadiq Al Mahdi (R), meet at his house in Omdurman on 27 August 2013 (Photo: Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)
Al-Amin, who spoke at a press conference on Sunday, underscored that his party’s first option is to mobilise the street in order to overthrow the regime, saying Sudan has become a “failed state”.
He disclosed existence of two “schools” within the party, one of them sees the need for engaging in dialogue with the ruling National Congress Party (NCP), and the other which is comprised of youth and students strongly refuses dialogue and calls for toppling the regime and establishing a democratic alternative.
He stressed they are ready to “die” in order to stop rapprochement with the NCP, pointing to significant efforts made to hinder the work of the general secretariat.
The NUP official affirmed they would go forward in implementing their plans and visions without paying attention to “bumps and obstacles”, stressing that their objective is to hold the next general convention and maintain party’s cohesion.
He said NUP’s participation in a meetings of the central commission next week is conditional on a commitment to the party’s constitution, emphasising that the NUP is still a member of the opposition alliance of the National Consensus Forces (NCF).
Al-Amin said the NUP’s differences with the NCF are based on procedural issues that could be overcome through consultation and dialogue, saying they don’t intend to split the party but strongly stand against the violations to regulations and the constitution.
According to Al-Saiha daily newspaper on Sunday, al-Amin revealed that the NUP representative to the NCF, whom he did not name, used to leak opposition information to the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), describing his actions as “scandalous”.
He said the NCP is not serious about engaging in a true dialogue but seeks to buy time in order to hold the general elections and continue sticking to power, noting that the NUP is against armed struggle but supports demands of the states affected by civil wars.
The NUP secretary-general said that Sudan has become a scene for regional and international conflicts warning against growing radical religious groups which use violence to settle political differences.
He said that Sudan’s involvement in regional conflicts would only increase sufferings and disorder, asserting that any attempt to promote relations with Iran is considered “unforgivable crime”.
Al-Amin underscored that the disputed Halayeb Triangle is part of the Sudanese territory, saying “we love Egypt but we love Sudan more”.
The NUP has recently suffered from differences between two main factions on several national issues. The first faction calls for rapprochement with the regime and led by the party leader, Al-Sadiq al-Mahdi and his two deputies, Sideeg Mohamed Ismail and Fadlallah Burma Nasser.
While the other faction, which is led by al-Amin and enjoys the support of a broad sector of the party’s constituency, calls for overthrowing the regime through a civil and peaceful struggle.
According to media reports, a group within the party, including Ismail and Nasser among others, are planning to oust al-Amin from his post as secretary-general with the support of the party leader in the central commission’s meeting next week.
There have been reports that the NUP head of politburo, Sara Nugdalla, would replace Al-Amin in the position.