December 27, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s opposition umbrella National Consensus Forces (NCF) has criticized opposition groups seeking to reach a political settlement with the regime and described them as “soft landing” forces.
- Farouk Abu Issa (R-C) chairs a meeting of the opposition National Consensus Forces on 10 September 2014 (ST)
In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune Monday, NCF said they continued to resist both the regime and those “who claim to be part of the opposition”, pointing the latter are “working to achieve the so-called soft landing and the settlement”.
“NCF continued to lead [the forces calling for] the popular uprising against those calling for settlement and unproductive dialogue. Following the victories achieved by the Sudanese people on November 27 and December 19 the regime launched fierce arrest campaign against the NCF cadres and cracked down on press,” read the statement.
It is noteworthy that activists and opposition groups called on the Sudanese to engage in civil disobedience actions on November 27th and December 19 th to protest against the recent austerity measures. The call was met with mixed response in the capital, Khartoum and the various regions.
The statement stressed that the release of political prisoners was not a gift from the regime but a result of the struggle of the Sudanese people, saying the engagement with the international community must be based on the interests of the people.
“However, the reality of the situation indicates that the international community believes the toppling of the regime doesn’t serve its interests at the present time despite its continued claims about imposing sanctions on the regime,” it added.
The statement pointed to the “shuttle movements” by the United States Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan Donald Booth and the African Chief mediator Thabo Mbeki besides Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to resume peace talks.
It added that regional and Arab countries weren’t far from the settlement and soft landing plans dictated by the European Union and the United States.
The NCF said the struggle in Sudan is between two camps and there is no place for a “neutral stance”, saying the neutral position toward the nation’s crucial issues is considered a betrayal of the people, history and the homeland.
The statement underlined that the NCF chose to align with the people and lead the camp that seeks to overthrow the regime through the popular uprising, pointing to its firm stance against the other camp which sticks to the political settlement and soft landing policy.
In September, five political parties belonging to the armed and political opposition umbrella Sudan Call have decided to cut organizational ties with NCF following mounting differences over participation in the African Union-led peace process.
Since several months before the move, the NCF has been divided over its participation, within the framework of the Sudan Call, in the negotiations for a peaceful settlement to end war in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states and Darfur region and a national constitutional dialogue conference.
While the five groups were willing to take part in the political process alongside the armed groups and National Umma Party (NUP), the other forces including the Sudanese Communist Party say they want the Sudan Call to focus on the regime change agenda and popular uprising.
They believe that the current process would not bring democratic change in Sudan but would be a repetition to previous peace agreements and reinvigorates the regime of President Omer al-Bashir.
The Sudan Call, which was established in Addis Ababa on 3 December 2014, includes the NUP and rebel umbrella of Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF), the NCF and the Civil Society Initiative (CSI).
NCF, which gathers mainly center-left, and leftist parties including Sudanese Communist Party, a faction of the Democratic Unionist Party, some national Arab groups, is Sudan’s major internal opposition force.