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Sudan’s opposition, UAE officials discussed peace and issues of mutual concern: Arman

MBZ Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi receives Sudan's TMC al-Burhan up on his arrival to Abu Dhabi on 26 May 2019 (Photo WAM)
June 18, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - A Sudanese opposition delegation visited the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last April in the wake of the fall of the al-Bashir regime to discuss peace in Sudan and other issues of mutual interest, such as political Islam and the war in Yemen, said Yasir Arman, deputy head of the SPLM-N Agar.

In a written statement to Sudan Tribune Arman who is also the Sudan Call’s external relations official said the opposition delegation besides his person included Minni Minnawi, head of the Sudan Liberation Movement, Khaled Omer, Vice-President of the Sudanese Congress Party, Mohamed Zain Adila of the National Umma Party and Ahmed Tugud and Mu’tassim Mohamed Saleh, both are from the Justice and Equality Movement.

He said that the talks with the UAE officials tackled the role that the Gulf country can play to bring stability in Sudan, adding they stressed the need for a comprehensive peace in Sudan during the transitional period.

In addition, the discussions touched the political Islam, which is seen as a national security matter in Abu Dhabi, the war in Yemen where Sudanese troops are participating in the Saudi-led coalition against Iran-backed Houthi rebels and UAE’s economic investments in Sudan.

"We had a clear discussion with them on the importance of including the issue of war and peace as a major issue in Sudan they can contribute to. Also, we told them there are other important countries (involved in the ongoing efforts to achieve peace in Sudan) and we numbered some of them especially the neighbouring countries," he said.

Regarding the war in Yemen and the contested participation of the Sudanese army, Arman said they indicated that the troops’ withdrawal from Yemen is a complicated issue that requires more time.

"The war in Yemen has complex regional and internal issues that need solutions (...). Particularly, it is Bashir who brought Sudan into these regional axes and there is a need to work, a new policy and a new regime before to get Sudan out of (this war)."

Several opposition groups members of the Forces for Freedom and Change in Sudan (FFC) call for the immediate withdrawal of Sudanese soldiers from Yemen.

However, the ruling military junta stated more than once that Sudanese troops will remain in Yemen alongside the Saudi and Emirati armies.

Arman said their visit to UAE was not a secret visit, contrary to what rumoured in the social media, adding they met with the Sudanese Diaspora during their stay in Abu Dhabi.

Furthermore, he stressed that the Sudanese opposition meeting with the Emirati officials does not mean abandoning its principles or adopting UAE’s policies and plans.

He emphasized that the Sudanese opposition is not in accord with UAE’s position against "the Islamic trend supportive of (democratic) change, accountability, peaceful alternation of power and equal citizenship."

He added that he called on the Sudanese political forces to visit the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt to discuss Sudan issues with them.

"The UAE should not be left to the Rapid Support Forces. The UAE should not use its funds to fund the Rapid Support at the expense of all other (military) institutions in the Sudanese state," he said.

"If they (the Emirati) call me now I will tell them that what happened in Khartoum in the sit-in area is a crime and must be accounted for and that you made a mistake in supporting the Forces of Rapid Support," he added.

Four days after the killing of over 100 peaceful protesters by the RSF and other security forces on 3 June, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargas said his country was concerned about the "massacre" and supports calls for an investigation.