Home | News    Tuesday 20 November 2012

Umma party leader relieves his deputy over relations with Sudanese rebel alliance

November 19, 2012 (KHARTOUM) - Umma National Party (UNP) leader Sadiq Al-Mahdi relieved his deputy Nasser Eddin Al-Mahdi from his position saying the latter preferred to join the rebels rather than to remain in the main opposition party.

JPEG - 27.8 kb
Al-Sadiq al-Mahdi, head of the Umma Party (REUTERS PICTURES)

Nassser Eddin joined the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) last year during a visit to Juba where he was tasked by his party to meet South Sudan’s leadership and the Sudanese rebel groups there.

After his defection, the party leader said that Nasser Eddin was tasked to meet the rebel groups and to convince them to support UNP call for a negotiated settlement with the regime.

In a statement released on Monday, Sadiq Al-Mahdi said it had been decided in August of this year to not dismiss Nasser Eddin from his position until they were able to meet. He added that the meeting took place in London on 14 November.

He disclosed that he took his decision to relive him from his position as deputy president on the same day after the reunion.

Sadiq Al-Mahdi stressed in his communiqué that he explained to Nasser Eddin that being a deputy president does not fit with his position as a leading member in the rebel alliance stressing that having the two positions means that the UNP would automatically become a member of the SRF.

The former prime minister said that Nasser Eddin preferred to leave his position in the main opposition party and to keep his membership in the SRF.

The Umma Party leader said he proposed that Nasser Eddin continue his dialogue with the rebels to reach a strategic agreement on a political solution to Sudan’s problems.

Nasser Eddin issued a statement minimizing Mahdi’s decision saying that the regime remains their principle enemy stressing that they toppled the legitimate government in 1989.

He further blamed "some political leaders" for their inaction adding this situation prevented the party from challenging the dictatorship and created divisions within the party.

The opposition party stands against the SRF’s armed struggle saying it may destabilize the country and lead to the emergence of warlords and the collapse of central authority.

Instead, the Umma Party proposes that a national conference is held, including all the political forces and rebel groups, to achieve democratic transition but also to settle all the armed conflicts in the country .

The rejection of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) of this proposal pushed, Sadiq Al-Mahdi last week to launch a call for national disobedience .

The governing party says it is ready for dialogue with the Umma party but declines Al-Mahdi’s call for a comprehensive and inclusive national process saying there are no political crisis in Sudan requiring such a conference.

Al-Mahdi’s position is also criticised within the Umma Party, while his allies of the opposition parties suspect him of having a secret deal with the regime, particularly as his son, Abdel-Rahman Al-Mahdi, is a presidential assistant in the national government, albeit in a personal capacity.

(ST)