July 20, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The opposition National Umma Party (NUP) has urged the European Union (EU) to support the national dialogue process, accusing the ruling national Congress Party of dropping a call by the Sudanese president for a comprehensive and inclusive process for peace and democratic reforms in Sudan.
- NUP deputy president Meriam al-Mahdi (R) and JEM leader Gibril Ibrahim (L) poses with two EU MPs outside the EU parliament in Strasbourg, on 16 July 2014 (ST)
The NUP deputy president Meriam al-Mahdi was invited by the EU legislators to take part in a hearing on peace in Sudan held at the EU parliament in Strasbourg last Wednesday with other Sudanese rebel and opposition groups.
In a statement released on Sunday, she said the European Union should take in consideration the role of the “Sudanese national forces” and to adopt a comprehensive approach when it comes to peace, economic reform, and political situation.
The EU should “continue to support the national dialogue as a mechanism to achieve a peaceful and comprehensive political solution, create a conducive environment to ensure its success,” said al-Mahdi who arrived just at the end of the hearing but however was received by the EU MPs.
The deputy leader of the largest opposition party further said that the EU should provide support in terms of expertise and facilitate encounters between the various Sudanese parties in order to reach an understanding on the concept of dialogue, it mechanisms, and a roadmap leading to peace and stability.
Different EU legislators who attended Wednesday’s meeting agreed on the need to back the ongoing efforts for peace and stability in Sudan, stressing that the regional instability, particularly in Central African Republic and South Sudan must be avoided in the east African country.
The leader of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and deputy chairman of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) for external relations, Gibril Ibrahim; who represented the armed groups called on the EU lawmakers to support a roadmap the rebel alliance announced last May.
Ibrahim also stressed on the alarming humanitarian situation in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan states, proposing to impose a non-fly-zone in these areas to protect civilians from the regular air attacks carried by the Sudanese army.
The NUP decided last May to suspend its participation in the national dialogue process to protest the arrest of its leader Sadiq al-Mahdi as he had accused the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militia of committing atrocities against civilians in Darfur.
After al-Mahdi release, the opposition party stressed on the need to review the national dialogue process and associate the “historical” political parties in an African Union-led process to achieve peace in the Two Areas and Darfur.
Last Friday, the NUP secretary general, Sarah Nugd Allah proposed to increase the representation of the opposition in the national dialogue to 10 instead of 7 delegates, arguing that the 3 additional seats will be allocated to the civil society groups.
However, the party’s media secretary on Sunday underlined that this proposal does not express the official position of the party.