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Sudan’s Bashir warns against contact with SRF rebels

June 27, 32014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s president, Omer Hassan al-Bashir, has warned opposition parties against any rapprochement with the rebel alliance Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF), saying it is a red line in a process of democratisation he initiated in January.

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Sudanese President Omer Hassan al-Bashir addresses a session of parliament on 1 April 2013 in Khartoum (Photo: Ashraf Shazly/AFP/Getty Images)

In a speech before the members of the Shoura (consultation) Council of the National Congress Party (NCP) on Thursday night, Bashir asserted that he will not allow the opposition parties to conduct any contacts with the SRF groups which he described as “agents and traitors”.

The president made his remarks six days after statements by the leader of the opposition National Umma Party, Sadiq al-Mahdi who following his release expressed his intention last Friday to coordinate with the rebels in order to achieve a comprehensive peace in the country.

Bashir said he is committed to ensure political freedom for the activities of the opposition parties stressing “we will not allow the existence of an ally to rebel groups within the areas controlled by the government forces”.

“Whoever wants to deal or sign agreements with the rebels has to know that the SRF has some areas in South Kordofan, Blue Nile, Darfur, Israel and Kampala. We will not accept that some speak (with them) in Khartoum and our sons are fighting and die in South Kordofan”.

Bashir further accused political parties of misusing political freedoms and pointed that some “crossed the red line”.

He asserted to not allow such abuses, noting that some political forces undermine the morale of the Sudanese people.

At the end of January, Bashir launched the national dialogue initiative aiming to hold an comprehensive conference on a new constitution and ways to end the armed conflicts in the Two Areas and Darfur. He also issued a number of presidential decrees to ensure freedom of expression, press freedom and create a conducive environment for this political process.

However, the security service last May arrested al-Mahdi for criticising a government militia, the Rapid Support Forces, and accusing it of committing war crimes in Darfur and South Kordofan. After his release the ministry of justice said the party of the former prime minister apologised and announced his support to the army and government forces.

NO DELAY FOR 2015 ELECTIONS

The president who has just resumed his activities after a chirurgical operation on his right knee, said next year general election will be held as scheduled without delay.

He further slammed NCP officials who evoked a possible postponement of the electoral process in case a political agreement is reached with the opposition forces in the context of the national dialogue.

The opposition parties call to form a national government during a two-year interim period to implement a number of reforms agreed in the national dialogue before to hold the general elections.

The Sudanese president also pointed to the tribal clashes in Darfur region hinting to hidden hands that igniting the fighting between the pastoral tribes every time they settle a conflict.

Recently, Central Darfur governor sacked the leaders of Misseriya and Salamat tribes from the leadership of the native administration and threatened to take tough action against the responsible of any new clashes.

The two groups despite several reconciliation deals brokered by the government continue to attack each other over issues of cattle raiding.

(ST)