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SLPLM-N calls for popular mobilization to protest fuel price hike

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November 6, 2016 (KHARTOUM) -The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North Secretary General Yasir Arman has called for a popular mobilization against the recent increase of fuel and electricity price, but advised that protests should be well organized and to determine is objectives clearly.

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Secretary-General Yasir Arman waives hands to supporters during his visit to the SPLM-N controlled areas in the Nuba Montains. Picture released by the SPLM-N on 30 March 2016

In September 2013, over 200 people were killed according to rights groups in the spontaneous popular protests after the announcement of the first austerity plan. At the time, the opposition groups had been blamed for not adopting a unified and coordinated position.

In statements released Sunday, Arman condemned the government’s decision to scrap fuel and power subsidies, saying the government uses all the national resources to fund the army, and security services instead of seeking peace and developing the country.

"Participation in resisting price increase is a duty and a necessity. But we all have to agree on the targets and the slogans, in a way that does not disperse the (popular) resistance," Arman said.

He added that the opposition have to identify what winning looks like in this case and propose the rights slogans that fit with the potential of the street. He further said the SPLM-N has no intention to impose itself as a leading force in the popular protests.

Arman further expressed willingness to host a meeting in the SPLM-N controlled areas for the opposition and civil society groups to discuss ways to organize and coordinate powerful protests.

Opposition groups that participated in internal dialogue process have called to suspend the new austerity plan, saying its implementation should be decided by a transitional government to be formed during the upcoming two months

Also, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) of Mohamed Osman al-Mirghani has criticized the recent rise of fuel and electricity price, and alluded that it may end its participation in the National Congress Party led government.

Speaking about the expected return to Khartoum of NUP leader Sadiq al-Mahdi, Arman said their relationship is built on political not geographic basis, pointing that they are more close to political forces inside the country than some forces outside Sudan.

"We are working with Sadiq al-Mahdi on the agenda of change, whether he is in Cairo or in Khartoum," he stressed.

Also, he brushed aside accusations that the SPLM-N is working for a "soft-landing" with the regime, pointing to the need to negotiate with the government to end war and to deal with the regional and international community.

"Our position on the issue of peace is a strategic position. This war is imposed on us, and we seek to stop it. It is strange that those who accuse us of a soft landing are the same people who talk about stopping the war. How to end it without sitting on the negotiating table with the other party that fights us," he said.

SPLM-N chairman Malik Agar and Arman have just ended a visit to Berlin together with NUP leader Sadiq al-Mahdi where they held a two-day consultations meeting with the German diplomats who are facilitating the African Union led peace for peace in Sudan.

Arman accused the Sudanese government of massing 8600 troops in the Blue Nile state preparation of new attacks on their positions and said they would carry out an international campaign against to denounce the regime.

(ST)

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