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Sudanese official accuses opposition of espionage

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June 24, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese presidential assistant Ibrahim Ghandour stepped up his rhetoric against opposition forces and accused them of spying for foreign and European countries.

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Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir (R), flanked by presidential assistant Ibrahim Ghandour, gives a speech in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, on 27 January 2014 (Photo: AP/Abd Raouf)

Ghandour, who was addressing a conference by the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) in the twin capital city of Omdurman, noted that opposition parties asked the international community to impose a no-fly zone in Darfur and South Kordofan.

Arnaud Lodi, a spokesman for the Sudan People Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N), previously told the London-based Al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper that Sudanese people have consistently repeated their demands to the international community to impose a no-fly zone in war zones.

“The international community should abandon its negativity through taking serious and practical steps by imposing a flight ban that targets civilians, civilian institutions and places of worship,” Lodi said.

Officials in Darfur’s Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) echoed the same call.

Ghandour expressed outrage at opposition forces over their “daily insults” but stressed that they exercise restraint not out of weakness.

He pledged to respond to “inciters” adding that “we will not do that unless forced”.

The Sudanese official scoffed at the opposition forces’ statements on seeking to topple the regime saying that these forces do not have the tools to carry out these threats.

He slammed parties that refused to participate in the national dialogue saying that the only other option available is elections.

Ghandour emphasized that opposition’s refusal to participate in the elections is a sign of their weakness and inability to present intellectual and political theses. He rejected accusations that the NCP uses state resources to fund the ruling party.

"We do not know any funding from the state to our party," he said.

The government in the past said 2015 general elections will proceed as planned irrespective of the national dialogue process.

But later Sudanese official said that the elections could be postponed if an agreement on that is reached by all sides at the national dialogue.

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 revitalizing 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.

Both the Reform Now Party (RNP) and the National Umma Party (NUP) suspended their participation in national dialogue citing government crackdown on media and political freedoms.

(ST)

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