Home | Comment & Analysis    Monday 25 April 2011

North Sudan’s ruling party risks implosion as internal rifts come into view


By Muhammad Osman

April 24, 2011 (NAIROBI) - North Sudan’s governing National Congress Party (NCP) has more than once proved to be able to overcome divisions – but a rare show of discord between senior party officials this week has indicated it might be teetering on the edge of implosion.

JPEG - 28.2 kb
Presidential Security Adviser Salah Gosh (Upper Left), NCP’s Vice-President and Presidential Assistant Nafi Ali Nafi (Upper Right), Vice-President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha (Lower left), Sudan’s President and NCP’s chairman Omar Al-Bashir (lower right)

Since the 1999 schism in the NCP, which saw the party split in two as supporters of ousted Islamist leader Hassan Al-Turabi broke away to form the opposition Popular Congress Party (PCP), the party has successfully defied predictions of collapse in the face of several crises.

The most notable of those was the issue of the International Criminal Court (ICC), whose arrest warrant for President Al-Bashir for atrocities committed in the country’s western region of Darfur prompted analysts to speculate it would shake the NCP’s chain of command.

But it has emerged this week that the NCP’s top leadership is at odds over how to deal with opposition parties and Al-Turabi. Al-Turabi has been detained since January after he warned the government it would face a popular uprising modelled on those seen elsewhere in the Arab world if it continued to resist calls for reforms.

The story began on Friday, 22 April, when the NCP’s Vice-President Nafi Ali Nafi directed criticism at the dialogue conducted with certain opposition parties by his colleague Salah Gosh, the former intelligence chief who currently serves as a presidential adviser for security affairs.

According to Nafi, who was speaking in a radio interview with Sudan Radio, the dialogue led by Gosh under the umbrella of the Presidential Security Advisory, which he chairs, was not sanctioned by the party’s leadership.

Nafi, who often stands out as a hardliner with no qualms about making derogatory remarks against opposition parties, asserted that his party would not negotiate over demands for a transitional or national government to serve as “a tool to weaken” his party or turn it into “a minority group.”

“If they [opposition parties] want this [a national government] they should wait until next elections,” he said.

A day later on Saturday, Salah Gosh held a press conference in which he contradicted his colleague’s statement, stressing that the dialogue he leads was approved by the NCP’s Chairman President Al-Bashir and second Vice-President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha.

“It is [Nafi’s statement] detrimental to the dialogue and will make opposition parties run away from it,” Gosh said, blowing the lid off his dissatisfaction with Nafi’s position.

Sudan’s former Prime minister and leader of the opposition National Umma Party (NUP), Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi, whose party is currently engaged in dialogue with the NCP over what he loosely terms as “the national agendas,” has previously blamed the wing of hardliners within the NCP for scuttling the National Reconciliation Agreement, which his party signed with the NCP in May 2008.

Further disagreements within the NCP’s leadership were manifested when Nafi denied, in the same interview, the existence of any calls within his party for the release or trial of Al-Turabi, contrasting with statements by the NCP’s Vice-President in Khartoum State Mandour Al-Mahdi who said it was the view of his party that the veteran opposition leader should either be tried or released immediately.

“Anyone who served the legal detention period should be either brought to a trial or released,” Mandor told a press conference on Saturday.

It remains a possibility that the NCP, which has ruled the country since seizing power in a military coup backed by Islamists in 1989, will manage to prevent internal discord from getting any more public than it already is.

But simmering disagreements may lead to implosion which could complicate the party’s situation at a time when it is faced with growing public discontent over lack of political reforms and worsening economic conditions.

The writer is an associate editor of Sudan Tribune. He can be reached on muhammed.eltilib@gmail.com

The views expressed in the 'Comment and Analysis' section are solely the opinions of the writers. The veracity of any claims made are the responsibility of the author not Sudan Tribune.

If you want to submit an opinion piece or an analysis please email it to comment@sudantribune.com

Sudan Tribune reserves the right to edit articles before publication. Please include your full name, relevant personal information and political affiliations.
Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

Comment on this article

The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.

Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis

Darfur ethnic attacks must be fully addressed 2021-05-06 04:16:34 Ahmed Elzobier A series of blunders have contributed to the tragic situation in Sudan’s West Darfur region and continue to expose civilians to violence, notably among them the premature (...)

Give credit they deserve 2021-04-30 21:13:25 Ngor Arol Garang While the visit of the government delegation to Chad had triggered debates and depictions in social media reflective of a comic dramatic work using buffoonery and horseplay and (...)

South Sudan elections must be held on time 2021-04-18 07:30:37 The Government is bent on postponing the elections: a response to the statement of the Ministry of Presidential Affairs dated 14 April 2021. By Lam Akol The Press Secretary of the President of (...)


Latest Press Releases

S. Korea supports UN communities building resilience project in Sudan’s Blue Nile 2019-09-09 09:26:41 UNDP Sudan September 5, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - An agreement was signed on 5th of September between the Korean Ambassador, His Excellency. Lee Ki-Seong and Dr. Selva Ramachandran, Resident (...)

Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders back calls for civil rule 2019-04-26 10:22:06 Press statement by 55 Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders on Sudan Sit-in and Peaceful Protest Khartoum -24/04/2019 We, the undersigned (55) Sudanese lawyers and human rights defenders, (...)

South Sudan’s Lafon youth condemn killings of civilians by Pari community 2019-04-03 21:54:29 Press Statement on the Fighting between Pari/ Pacidi and Lotuko/Lokiri on 24/3/2019 Release by The Lafon County Youth Union: We, the Lafon County Youth Union hereby condemn the atrocities and (...)


Copyright © 2003-2021 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.