August 10, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Popular Congress Party (PCP) led by Hassan al-Turabi cautiously vowed to mull over the Paris Declaration signed by the opposition National Umma Party (NUP) and rebel Sudanese Revolutionary Forces (DRF) on Friday.
- Islamist leader Hassan al-Turabi of the Popular Congress Party (Photo: Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)
The NUP leader Sadiq al-Mahdi disclosed on Saturday that he called Turabi to brief him about the political declaration he signed with the SRF rebel leader Malik Agar. The agreement calls to unify the Sudanese political forces over a national platform for peace and democratic reforms.
The four-page text, which details the positions of the signatories on war, freedoms and democracy, says “the question of religion and politics was discussed in depth” and it was agreed to continue the dialogue to reach “a satisfactory formulation for all parties”.
PCP political secretary, Kamal Omer, confirmed on Sunday that Mahdi called the opposition Islamist leader asking him to support the declaration. He said that his party will study the Paris Declaration and determine its position.
Omer further called on the government to positively respond to the unilateral cessation of hostilities announced by SRF leader during the signing ceremony. Khartoum rejected the goodwill gesture, saying the rebels have to accept a ceasefire agreement.
However, the PCP political official stressed they reject any attempt to “impose secularism on the people or the separation of religion and state”, alluding to the paragraph related to this matter in the declaration.
Two months ago, Omer criticised the PCP’s former allies in Sudanese opposition umbrella of the National Consensus Forces for their support to the removal of the Islamist Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi saying their support for undemocratic change in Egypt shows that they are against the Islamic state not dictatorship.
Since the launch of the national dialogue initiative by president Omer al-Bashir in January of this year, the PCP refuses any criticism to the process inviting the government and the participating opposition forces to resort to dialogue to settle their differences.
DECLARATION TO PROMOTE DIALOGUE
The Reform Now Movement (RNM) led by Ghazi Salah Eddin al-Attabani, on the other hand, issued a statement calling to use Paris Declaration to enhance the national dialogue and ongoing efforts to achieve peace in Sudan.
In a statement released on Sunday, the RNM said that Mahdi informed Attabani about the declaration reached with the rebels in Paris
“Dr. Ghazi said that the Reform Now Movement is ready to continue to consult with the National Umma Party and other political forces to push the efforts for peace and national dialogue,” the statement said.
The RNM had suspended its participation in the national dialogue in solidarity with the NUP to protest Mahdi’s detention last May. But, it resumed its activities within the dialogue mechanism last July.
Al-Mahdi on Saturday told Sudan Tribune he called all the political parties including the ruling National Congress Party to inform them about the deal he reached with the alliance of rebel groups.
He also said he would remains in Cairo for some time to conduct a series of contacts with the African Union, Arab League and the international community to mobilise regional and international support to the declaration.