May 11, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) has vehemently attacked the leadership of the opposition National Umma Party (NUP) led by al-Sadiq al-Mahdi, calling on the latter’s youth base to join the forces of change.
- Fighters from Sudan’s Justice and Equality (JEM) Movement pictured in El-Fasher, northern Darfur, on 25 July 2011 (Photo: Ashraf Shazly AFP/Getty)
It also appealed to the Darfuri groups which signed peace deals with the government to return to their original groups.
JEM’s political secretary, Suleiman Sandal, told Sudan Tribune by phone on Sunday that they wouldn’t engage in dialogue with the ruling National Congress Party (NCP), stressing the regime is irreparable and must be changed.
Last January, Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir called on political parties and armed groups to engage in a national dialogue to discuss four issues, including ending the civil war, allowing political freedoms, fighting against poverty and revitalising national identity.
But the rebel alliance of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) rejected Bashir’s call, saying the government only seeks to buy time in order to produce another version of the same regime and draft a new constitution under the control of its security apparatus.
Sandal criticised the NUP leadership saying it became an integral part of the regime.
“I call upon NUP youth who are keen about the unity of the country to work with the SRF and peace-loving forces in order to change the regime,” he said.
He added that regime’s policy of killing and oppression would definitely lead to dividing the country, encouraging separatist tendencies, and threatening foundations of national cohesion, saying the NCP clings to power only to serve its narrow interests.
The NUP, and the opposition Popular Congress Party (PCP) led by Hassan Al-Turabi, and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) led by Mohamed Osman al-Mirghani agreed to engage in the national dialogue inside Sudan and rejected the SRF’s call for holding it abroad.
JEM’s official called upon the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) and JEM-Dabago to return to their original groups in order to serve issues of their people, asserting their alliance with the NCP distorts the image of the struggle in Darfur.
LJM joined the NCP-led government after it signed the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) on 14 July 2011. JEM-Dabago which is a dissident faction of JEM also joined the government after signing the DDPD on 6 April 2013.
“Real peace has not been yet achieved in Darfur and the problem was not resolved. They (the DDPD signatories) were appointed in government positions without true powers,” he added
Sandal also pointed to corruption cases which surfaced recently in Khartoum, saying they are small compared to true scale of corruption which is taking place at the “presidential palace”, saying the presidency doesn’t differentiate between public and private money.
He emphasised that JEM is a national movement, saying it is innocent of accusations of racism and tribalism directed at it.