June 10, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s opposition National Umma Party (NUP) and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-N) have called for unifying political forces and rebel alliance in order to restore freedoms, democracy and human rights in the country.
- Yasser Arman, Secretary General of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (R) talks to al-Sadiq al-Mahdi, National Umma party leader (file/Reuters)
They said, in a joint statement on Wednesday, that all opposition forces which seek change should unite in a broad front, criticising the government for violating press and political freedoms.
The statement, which was signed by the NUP secretary general, Sara Nugdalla, and the SPLM-N Secretary General, Yasser Arman, said the will allow them to restore democracy, achieve just and comprehensive peace, equal citizenship and fair distribution of wealth and power.
The two parties denounced the government’s systematic comprehensive attack on freedoms, targeting of civilian population in the peripheries, restrictions on freedom of expression, crackdown on newspapers and religious freedom, and pursuit and arrest of students and youth activists.
The statement also condemned the arrest of the NUP leader, al-Sadiq al-Mahdi, describing his trial as a “plot” motivated by clear political reasons.
The two sides underscored that the judiciary follows orders of the totalitarian regime, saying it is unwilling and unable to achieve justice.
“This is why we wouldn’t accept anything but his unconditional and immediate release along with all political detainees”, the statement said.
Al-Mahdi was arrested on 17 May, days after he was called for questioning by state prosecutors over statements he made accusing the RSF militia of committing abuses against civilians in Darfur and Kordofan regions.
The militia was activated and restructured again in August last year under the command of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) to fight rebel groups in Darfur region, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states following joint attacks by Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) rebels in North and South Kordofan in April 2013.
The NUP and the SPLM-N predicted the regime would soon reach its final demise due to several reasons including its growing dependence on the notorious Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militias, internal divisions among the regime, and the failure of the national dialogue initiative.
The two parties praised the NUP’s decision to suspend participation in the national dialogue besides the SPLM-N stance towards achieving comprehensive not partial solution for Sudan’s problems.
The NUP suspended its membership in the opposition National Consensus Front (NCF) coalition almost a year ago after a divergence related to the need to reshape its structures and other political issues.
But on Monday, a leading member of the NUP, Meriam al-Mahdi, announced that the party had reintegrated back into the opposition alliance.
Meanwhile, NCF chairmanFarouq Abu Issa urged the political forces and the Sudanese people to organise themselves in order to overthrow the regime.
He disclosed that a coordination meeting between the NCF and the rebel alliance of the SRF will be held within a few days to discuss plans of the two sides in order to achieve the desired change in the country.