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Al-Mahdi rejects linking peace in Sudan to secular state


Al-Mahdi speaks at a workshop on the state of emergency on 3 April 2019 ( ST photo)
January 12, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - The leader of the National Umma Party, Sadiq al-Mahdi rejected the demand of the SPLM-N led by Abdel Aziz al-Hilu for a secular state in Sudan as a condition to end the armed conflict in the Two Areas.

Addressing a public meeting on Saturday in Sinja the capital of Sennar state Saturday, al-Mahdi told his supporters that every political entity has the right when elections are held to campaign for the separation of religion from the state, or to call for a religious state or other political convictions.

"But someone cannot say that if you do not accept my political programme, I will not accept peace. Peace should be agreed upon by removing the causes that led to the war," he said without naming the SPLM-N al-Hilu.

Also, at the end of his long speech, al-Mahdi once again recalled that he in August 2014 signed the Paris Declaration with the SRF groups stressing that it provides to establish a civilian state in Sudan and not a secular state.

He added that the meeting was attended by al-Hilu and Abdel Wahid al-Nur of the Sudan Liberation Movement who also calls for a secular state in Sudan.

The civilian state is similar to the secular state as it means to not mix religion with the political affairs and to establish a citizenship state. However, it has a different philosophical concept which is not hostile to religion.

Talks between the SPLM-N al-Hilu and the transitional government delegation in Juba are stalled over the secular state as Khartoum says the secular state would be discussed in the constitutional conference, not the peace talks as demands the armed group.

Al-Hilu split the group in 2017 because his former comrades refused to demand the discussion of the secular state in the peace talks with the al-Bashir regime.

Also, he was keen to insist on the secular state in his speech at the visit of Abdallah Hamdok to Kauda on 9 January.

Nevertheless, Hamdok showed optimism that the country was "approaching peace with a confident and steady pace," as he said.

During his speech in Sinja, the NUP leader demanded that the majority of the 18 civilians governors be given to his party saying that the last democratic elections in April 1986 demonstrated that his party was the largest political force in Sudan.

"The choice of the governor must be with the consent of the people of the region, or at least with the consent of the overwhelming majority, otherwise they will cooperate with him".

He further warned they will call to hold elections for the governors if his demand is rejected.

More than once, al-Mahdi said he would call for anticipated elections before the end of the three-year transitional period.

The Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) said they nominated 14 governors and handed their list to the prime minister and vowed to finalize the process soon.


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  • 13 January 2020 06:48, by Mayendit

    Look what I was telling Nubian people and people of Blue Nile region have that, the changes which the new PM, is trying to fool you so that when you guys return back under them then, they will says Allah brought them back. I think Sadqi al Mahdi is saying. I think the Nubian people and people of Blue Nile must not give up struggle that is only lesson for Arabs.

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  • 13 January 2020 07:00, by Mayendit

    Can Malik Agar listen to what Sadiq al Mahdi is saying about religion freedom and rights of self determination. Even though some Nubian, people of Southern Blue Nile are Muslims doesn’t mean they should be ruled by Islamic culture. I real blame brothers and sisters from Darfur region because they have not committed to fights hard. These Arabs will only learned if we isolated them from Black Afric

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  • 13 January 2020 07:13, by Mayendit

    Malik Agar is very huge man and foolishness dark ass.he does not care about the people of Southern Blue Nile this is why he let to be fool and disoriented by Yasir
    Arman. South Sudanese people vote for separation because of Islamic laws in to government rules. I am appealing to SPLA N, to keep struggle until you gained your rights. Darfur also must struggle because that is the only language Arabs

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    • 13 January 2020 11:10, by Fathi

      Mr. Mayendit,
      There is a difference between Nubian and Nuba. They’re not same people. The people you’re referring to are Nuba people.

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      • 13 January 2020 11:17, by Fathi

        Secondly, these statements were made by our FORMER prime minister from 30 years ago. Our current PM has given many examples of not sharing the same view.

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        • 14 January 2020 17:22, by Khent


          The "Nubians" are just Nuba (Noba) that mixed extensively with Arabs and Egyptians; 70% of the Y-DNA profile of the "Nubians" is Arab and this stands at 90% for the Arab-Sudanese. All of Sudan prior to just 700 years ago was genetically and phenotypically similar to the Nuba and the Nilotics of Sudan -> Dinka and Nuer.

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          • 14 January 2020 17:28, by Khent

            "Genetic evidence points to an early admixture event in the Nubians, concurrent with historical contact between North Sudanese and Arab groups. We estimate the admixture in current-day Sudanese Arab populations to about 700 years ago, coinciding with the fall of Dongola in 1315/1316 AD, a wave of admixture that reached the Darfurian/Kordofanian populations some 400–200 years ago."

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  • 13 January 2020 10:27, by Fathi

    The people of Sudan reject Sadiq al-Mahdi.

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    • 13 January 2020 10:32, by Fathi

      Sadiq al-Mahdi is a loser. This guy doesn’t think he deserves the right to have the majority b/c he was last elected, but in reality he thinks we have a monarchy in Sudan and his grandpa was King.
      His failure to accomplish anything during his tenure is part of the reason the 89 coup was able to take place in Sudan.

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      • 13 January 2020 10:38, by Fathi

        If we’re being honest, the Sudanese Mahdi wasn’t the islamic messianic era Mahdi anyways. If Sadiq al-Mahdi wants shariah tell him to go do dawah in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

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        • 13 January 2020 10:44, by Fathi

          We need peace in Sudan. This "Shariah" has been manipulated to mask the corruption of political & military elites. It has been used as the legal basis to wage wars against those that speak out against the corruption and oppression. There is nothing Islamic about sharia law in Sudan.

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          • 13 January 2020 10:56, by Fathi

            We can secularize while including true Islamic principles and values such as a justice, preservation of life, family, health, wealth, etc. Although secularism excludes religion from governing, there’s no denying how religion has influenced governance in many secular countries, even in America.

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            • 13 January 2020 11:01, by Fathi

              Given the track record of being unable to apply shariah appropriately, the transitional government should move to secularize. Secularizing doesn’t mean you can’t practice Islam. It will provide assurance that Sudan will be accommodating for the religiously marginalized communities in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

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  • 13 January 2020 11:25, by ThaGoblin

    Sadig almahdi is a delusional old man. There’s no way we’ll alow his party to pick any governors! Secularism all the way. This country needs to throw all its previous baggage to be able to take off.

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