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Opposition forces to demonstrate against wars in Sudan

September 5, 2011 (KHARTOUM) — Sudanese opposition forces will organise a demonstration on Friday demanding to stop the war in South Kordofan and Blue Nile and to investigate who started the attacks.

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A supporter of the Uma party (AFP/File)

Clashes erupted last Saturday in Blue Nile state between the Sudanese army and fighters of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N). The two parties have also been fighting since last June in the neighboring Southern Kordofan.

In both cases, every side accuses the other of starting the hostilities. Over 160,000 people were forced to flee their homes in the Southern Kordofan but the government refuses to allow international aid groups to provide humanitarian assistance or to open camps. In the Blue Nile no estimations have yet been done.

In a meeting chaired by the leader of the Uma National Party (UNP) Sadiq al-Mahdi, the opposition National Consensus Forces (NCF) agreed to address a memorandum to the Sudanese presidency to demand to stop war and seek peaceful settlement for the conflict in the southern and western parts of the country.

Reliable sources told the Sudan Tribune the decision has been taken that demonstrators will gather next Friday outside Al-Mahdi mosque and the house of the late leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Mohamed Ismail al-Azhary in Omdurman.

Then the anti-war demonstration will move to the presidential palace in Khartoum to hand the memorandum (called Declaration of the Sudan) to President Omer Hassan al-Bashir. A meeting will be held on Thursday to mobilise the street to take part in the peaceful demonstration.

President al-Bashir held yesterday a meeting with the political parties to brief them about the causes of the clashes and accused the SPLM-N of igniting the war. The SPLM–N and its allies from the rebel groups also called on the opposition to join them in the struggle against Khartoum’s government.

The political opposition is frustrated by the refusal of the ruling National Congress Party to hold a national conference to resolve armed conflicts in Darfur, Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan. They blame Bashir’s party for the rejection of a comprehensive and inclusive process they propose.

Mariam Sadiq al-Mahdi, leading member of the National Consensus Forces, stated in a press conference held on Monday after meeting of the opposition alliance leaders that the memorandum aims to stop war in all the parts of the country.

She also called for a popular support to their demand to investigate the reasons of armed conflicts in the Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan, stressing that the opposition strongly condemns the bloody clashes.

"We must stop the war, and probe the causes of the armed clashes, because the war only bring devastation, destruction and international intervention (in Sudanese affairs)," said Mariam.