August 15, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) leading figure Amin Hassan Omer mocked the head of the National Umma Party (NUP), al-Sadiq al-Mahdi, saying that the latter signed the Paris Declaration with the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) out of jealousy over the rising star of Popular Congress Party (PCP) leader Hassan al-Turabi in the national dialogue process.
- President of the opposition National Umma Party (NUP) Sadiq al-mahdi (L) shake hands with the chairman of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) on 8 August 2014 (ST)
He also stressed that what happened with NUP deputy chairman Mariam al-Mahdi was that she was detained after returning from Paris for investigation purposes only and not as punishment.
“Some people think that they can go out of Sudan and sign cooperation agreements with the movements that bear arms and then return home to sleep quietly in their warm beds.This cannot happen in any country in the world,” Omer said.
The NUP and SRF leaders signed the declaration last Friday in the French capital which committed the rebels to cessation of hostilities for two months.
Omer, who heads the office of Darfur peace followup, also scoffed at the leader of Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM), Abdel Wahid Mohammed Nur, likening him to a movie star, stressing that the Darfuri leader is outside the peace process.
He claimed that the head of Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), Jibril Ibrahim, had expressed his readiness before the head of UNAMID, Mohammed Ibn Chambas, to go to the Doha peace forum, but came back later and said they did not see any outcome to this gesture.
The official declared their categorical rejection of any move to merge the forums of African Union (AU) mediator Thabo Mbeki and Ibn Chambas or the integration of the Sudan People Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) Northern and the Darfur movements negotiation tracks into one platform.
Omer said that Khartoum conducted contacts with arm bearers through mediators, diplomats and envoys, friends and partners.
“I will not talk about where we are with these contacts,” he said.
He accused the Sudan Communist Party (SCP), Sudan Congress Party (SCoP), Baath party, Nasserist Party and Haq movement of rejecting Islamic law.
The NCP figure also said that there is only limited impact to those forces which boycotted the national dialogue.
Last January, Bashir called on political parties and rebel groups to engage in a national dialogue to discuss ways to bring peace in the country and to discuss constitutional reforms.
The opposition alliance of the National Consensus Forces (NCF), gathering left forces, boycotted the political roundtable, asking the government first to stop war and create a conducive environment for the dialogue.
Al-Mahdi’s NUP suspended its participation in this political process after his detention last May.
Omer emphasised that al-Mahdi has a dilemma of wanting to be the only star in politics which prompts him to maneuver and incite multiple problems.
He said the government knew that after al-Mahdi was released from detention that he would seek to leave the country and seek an agreement.
He described the Paris Declaration as “political pressure card” as al-Mahdi wants to empower himself using the SRF as it has military power while the SRF uses the NUP chief for political cover.
Omer underscored that they will not negotiate with the SRF on peace, adding that al-Mahdi did not lead the helm of dialogue inside the country.
He described the SRF as an alliance of warlords, and pointed out that the west does not support it but at same time does not work against it and considers it a means to pressure the government.
The official argued that al-Mahdi contacts with political forces after the Paris declaration was not in good faith and downplayed reactions whether positive or negative by parties on it.