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Sudan’s NUP, armed groups vow to coordinate efforts to topple regime

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NUP Deputy President Mariam al-Mahdi (C) poses with representatives of the SPLM-N al-Hilu and SRF-Minnawi in London on 1 November 2017 (ST Photo)
November 1, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s opposition National Umma Party (NUP) and the armed movements have agreed to coordinate efforts to escalate resistance to overthrow the regime and establish a democratic system of governance.

On Tuesday, NUP Deputy Chairman Mariam al-Mahdi met with representatives from the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North led by Abdel Aziz al-Hilu (SPLM-N al-Hilu) and the rebel umbrella Sudan Revolutionary Forces led by Minni Minnawi (SRF Minnawi) in London.

“The meeting discussed and analyzed the reasons hindering the outbreak of popular uprising and ways to fill the gap between the opposition leadership and the grass-roots as well as the need to address issues of masses” read a statement signed by al-Mahdi, SRF Minnawi spokesperson Zakaria Faraj Allah and SPLM-N al-Hilu representative Nasser Janu.

The statement pointed out that the meeting also discussed the future political project and the national alternative besides ways to abort security plans to contain the popular struggle.

“The parties [to the meeting] agreed on the importance to coordinate efforts to escalate mass resistance until overthrowing the regime and establishing a democratic system of governance that achieves the comprehensive peace, social justice and national unity,” the statement said.

It added the meeting stressed the unification of the opposition is a necessary condition to bring about change, calling for the need to create new alliances that are based on advanced coordination and don’t exclude any party.

The meeting affirmed that “the right of self-determination guaranteed by international conventions does not mean secession, pointing to “the need to work to preserve the unity of Sudan by addressing the causes of crises and providing radical solutions”.

The statement called for the need to respect the rights of the Prisoners of War (POWs), denouncing various forms of human rights violations by the regime.

The Sudanese army has been fighting SPLM-N rebels in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan, also known as Two Areas since 2011 and a group of armed movements in Darfur since 2003.

In November 2011, rebel groups in Darfur and the Two Areas formed the SRF.

However, the umbrella organization split in October 2015 into two factions one headed by Gibril Ibrahim and the second by Malik Agar after a difference over the chairmanship of the alliance.

The SRF Gibril held its general conference from October 12 to 13 October in Paris where it elected Minni Minnawi as a new chairman.

Also, the SPLM-N is now divided into two factions: one led by Abdel Aziz al-Hilu and the other led by Malik Agar. The rift emerged several months ago over the right of self-determination and other organisational issues.

Last month, SPLM-N al-Hilu held its Extraordinary General Conference in the Nuba Mountains area of South Kordofan state.

The conference reaffirmed al-Hilu’s faction demand for self-determination saying it should be the basis of a negotiated solution to establish the New Sudan.

At the time, the NUP leader al-Sadiq al-Mahdi criticized al-Hilu’s demand for self-determination, describing it as “unfortunate”.

(ST)

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