September 1, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Ahmed Abdel-Rahman al-Mahdi, one of the key rivals of the National Umma Party (NUP) leader al-Sadiq al-Mahdi, expressed his support for the national dialogue process launched by Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir last January as well as the Paris Declaration signed between the NUP and the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) in August.
Ahmed said in a statement that there is a need to correct the path of the national dialogue initiative and work to remove all the obstacles facing what he called “the desired hope”.
He stressed that the government is required to re-establish its credibility by releasing all political detainees, including the leader of the Sudanese Congress Party (ScoP) Ibrahim al-Sheikh and NUP Deputy Chairman Mariam al-Mahdi.
“We also welcome the Paris Declaration reached by my son al-Sadiq al-Mahdi with the leadership of the SRF,” Ahmed said.
He went on to say that it is necessary to bring together signatories of the Paris Declaration as they represent an important political presence with the 7+7 dialogue mechanism so that they can hold an objective discussion away from feuds and conspiracies.
He underscored that there is a “golden opportunity for clearing [grudges] between the leaders at a spacious dialogue table, god willing, for the reunification and unity of word for the wounded homeland. Let us take what is agreed upon and succumb to the constructive dialogue on what we differ about until we reach our goals”.
He warned that Sudan is threatened with deterioration which makes the goal of consensus something that should make people sacrifice anything dear and precious, calling this “true patriotism and the focus of honesty and sincerity in public work”.
Ahmed added that Sudan suffers from unprecedented rampant corruption and public disorder as well as escalating “stunning price increases”, which threaten the lives of citizens.
“The dollar, which the last coup came to stop it at 20 pounds is now priced at 9,000 pounds, so we cannot describe our economy with anything other than failure and collapse”.
He said the that the country after the secession of the south entered into a maze, with Darfur in a precarious position and armed conflict spreading to Kordofan and Blue Nile states and tribes fighting among themselves creating a chaos that made the task of the armed forces and security units a daunting and heavy one if not impossible with power struggles among political forces that is coupled with enormous tide of foreign interventions.
He appealed to Sudanese leaders to understand the critical phase that Sudan is going through and acting vigilant and contributing to national work that creates the climate needed for a comprehensive national renaissance that brings change to remove the stumbling blocks and obstacles facing the country’s security and integrity.
Ahmed, who is the eldest son of NUP founder Abdel-Rahman, fell out with the NUP chief since the 1960s and went as far as testifying against him in court following the failed 1976 coup attempt staged by opposition forces operating out of Libya.