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Sudan’s ruling party accuses opposition of exploiting dialogue to overthrow regime

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June 12, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) has accused several opposition parties of exploiting a call by president Omer Hassan al-Bashir to engage in national dialogue to overthrow the regime and weaken the army.

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Sudan’s investment minister, Mustafa Osman Ismail, speaks at a news conference in Doha on 8 April 2013 (Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images)

The NCP political secretary, Mustafa Osman Ismail, told Ashorooq TV on Wednesday that some opposition parties particularly the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP), Arab Ba’ath Party (ABP), and the Sudanese Congress Party dealt with the president’s initiative as an opportunity to overthrow the regime.

He added those parties were not keen about achieving national agreement, saying they didn’t attend any session of the national dialogue.

Ismail also accused those parties of spreading lies about the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militia, saying they include foreign fighters, violate human rights and destroy the country.

He was speaking after the arrest of Sudanese Congress Party’s (SCP) leader, Ibrahim al-Shiekh who was accused of defaming the RSF.

The NCP official who is tasked with dialogue with the National Umma Party (NUP) said there are other opposition political parties which agreed to the national dialogue and attended its sessions, noting those parties also launched a campaign against military and security institutions.

He, however, avoided commenting on the arrest three weeks ago of NUP leader, Sadiq al-Mahdi, who was a fervent supporter of the national dialogue but detained after criticising the crimes committed by the militia group.

The NCP official further accused some newspapers of defamation, stressing the government is committed to dialogue in order to end the war, mitigate political polarization, avoid chaos, and arrive at national consensus prior to the upcoming elections.

The RSF militia, which is widely known as the Janjaweed militias, were originally mobilised by the Sudanese government to quell the insurgency that broke out in Sudan’s western region of Darfur in 2003.

Last year the government reactivated and restructured the militia groups again in under the command of 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.

OPPOSITION PARTIES TO MEET BASHIR

Meanwhile, the opposition forces which agreed to take part in the national dialogue said it officially requested a meeting with president Bashir in order to push forward the dialogue process and achieve national agreement.

The secretary general of the Nasserite Socialist Party (NSP) and member of the dialogue mechanism, Mustafa Mahmoud, said in a statement to the government- sponsored Sudan Media Center (SMC) that allowing political parties to hold meetings in public squares would promote the national dialogue.

He said that allowing absolute freedoms without restrictions will open the door for chaos and instability, calling upon rebel groups to achieve its objectives through peaceful means not military escalation which doesn’t serve interests of the country.

Mahmoud underscored that they continue to contact the rebel groups to join the national dialogue process, accusing unnamed political parties of seeking to sabotage the process.

Last January, 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.

He also held a political roundtable in Khartoum last April with the participation of 83 political parties.

The opposition alliance of the National Consensus Forces (NCF) boycotted the political roundtable, saying the government did not respond to its conditions.

(ST)

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