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Opposition group quits talks on power transfer in Sudan

Sudanese Communist Party announces withdrawal from power transfer talks on 31 August 2019 (ST photo)
July 31, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) announced on Wednesday its withdrawal from the negotiations on the transitional authority, pointing that it would guarantee the participation of members of the military council.

The Communist Party has consistently reaffirmed its rejection of any settlement with the Transitional Military Council leading to what it calls the "soft landing" and emphasized that the need for a radical regime change excluding the remnants of the al-Bashir’s regime including the military junta.

The political secretary of the party Mohamed Mukhtar al-Khatib told a news conference on Wednesday that the political agreement and the constitutional declaration under discussion by the two parties are still biased to the military council, and this could lead to the return of counter-revolution to power.

He said the two documents give the military council full control over the Sovereign Council and the army affairs through the right to choose the ministers of defence and interior.

"We will not continue to take part in this process and we will not participate in the ongoing negotiations. We will not participate in any of the transitional authority levels. The party will continue the public struggle and realize the people’s aspirations for radical change," he said.

For his part, the PSC representative in the FFC negotiating team Siddiq Youssef said that the party held a meeting and decided to stop participating in the negotiations with the military council and to withdraw from the meetings with "the killers".

Also, he reiterated what al-Khatib said stressing they will not participate in any government that maintains in power the military junta, which he considered an "extension" of the regime of the ousted President Omar al-Bashir.

"We will meet our allies in the Forces for Freedom and Change to clarify our point of view, and we hope they will stop any discussions with the TMC and continue our revolution to overthrowing the regime, including the military council," he said.

However, Youssef said the party would remain in the FFC coalition and would continue to work to achieve the different charters signed by the opposition forces since 2011, referring to the National Consensus Forces alliance.

The Communists have been accused by their allies of obstructing the talks with the military council and seeking to build up popular support at the expense of striking a deal that ensures power transfer to civilians.

Oppositions officials declined to comment on the decision of the Communist party pointing that other left factions member of the NCF that it leads did not follow them in this decision.

However, the leader of the National Umma Party, in a statement released on Wednesday, criticized the Sudanese communists without naming them.

He said there are three categories of political forces that seek to exploit the current circumstances to topple the negotiations to achieve their own agenda.

"There are political forces in the opposition that do not work for the solution (of the ongoing crisis) but seek to build popular support from taking positions. Secondly, there are forces of the former regime its main objective is to hinder the transition experience. As the third forces impede peace because they gain from troubles and not concerned with the misery of displaced persons and refugees," he said.


The SCP leaders also criticized the African Union envoy for Sudan Mohamed El Hacen Lebatt who is seen in Khartoum as compromising with the military junta.

Salih Mahmoud, a member of the PSC Central Committee told reporters that the African mediator Lebbat committed a "big mistake" when he deviated from his mandate to oversee the transfer of power from the military to civilians.

The envoy now is working to achieve "a power-sharing deal between the parties" he said after citing the decision of the African Union’s Peace and Security Council (PSC)on Sudan last April.

Salih further called on the African Union envoy reconsider his mediation and warned that the SCP will refer the matter to the PSC and will not allow him to "propose quotas" in the negotiation, as he said.

The Sudanese human rights lawyer who won Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 2007 further claimed that all the members of the military junta are suspected of grave human rights violations and killing of civilians.