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Sudan’s FFC leaders cancel public meeting in North Darfur after hostile protest

 Protesters in El Fasher Stadium during a public meeting organised by the FFC leaders on 1 September 2019 (SLM-MM photo)
September 1, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - A group of Youth prevented a public meeting organized by the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) in EL-Fasher football stadium to protest the rejection of the political coalition of the demands made par Darfur armed groups for peace in Sudan.

An FFC delegation including Sara Nugdalla, National Umma Party (NUP) Secretary-General, Mohamed Nagi Alasam of the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), Khalid Omer Sudanese Congress Party (SCoP) Secretary-General and Osman Taha of the Sudanese Communist Party planned to address Sudanese in El-Fasher as part of a national tour to mobilize popular support for the upcoming government as they now form the ruling coalition in Sudan.

However, a group of youth holding banners against the Political Agreement and the Constitutional Declaration chanted slogans "No, no for marginalization" "Where is peace, where is the revolution?" and throw stones at the delegation when Alasam took the floor to make a speech.

Citing an eyewitness Ibrahim Adam, the Darfur 24 website reported that a group of sympathizers of the several armed groups including Sudan Liberation Movement of Minni Minnawi (SLM-AW), Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) led by Gibril Ibrahim, along with other supporters of the SLM Abdel Wahid al-Nur (SLM-AW) came to the site of the meeting from Abu Shuk and Zamzam camps for displaced persons outside El Fasher carrying banners denouncing the agreement between Military and civilians on the transitional authority.

In a statement on its page on Facebook, the SLM-AW warned "against provoking the victims of genocide and ethnic cleansing" adding they follow "attempts to market the government of the Ingaz-2 formed by the al-Bashir’s security committee and some FFC groups".

For its part, the SLM-MM posted the videos of the protest that led to cancelling the meeting saying that masses of North Darfur are angry at the status quo created by the forces of freedom and change.

While the JEM issued a statement denouncing the agreement signed by FFC and the military council adding "It is not worth celebrating as much as it is worth overtaking and continuing the path of struggle until the demands of the revolution are fully realized."

The armed groups of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) intensified recently their verbal attacks and strong criticism against the FFC political factions accusing them of rejecting peace and seeking to control the transitional institutions to exclude the representatives of the marginalized areas.

The rift between the armed groups and the political forces has become clear after a meeting held in Cairo last month as the FFC political groups reiterated their rejection to include a provision establishing the primacy of peace agreements over the transitional constitution. Further, they refused to allocate cabinet seats in the transitional administration for the SRF groups pointing that they are for technocrats, not politicians.

FFC CONDEMN

After the cancellation of the meeting, the delegation held a press conference vowing to continue their meetings across the country and stressed their commitment to achieving peace during the first six months.

Also, they stressed that the constitutional declaration includes all that was agreed with the SRF groups in Addis Ababa last July except the two contentious points of the quota in the government and the primacy of peace agreement.

Further, in a statement released on its website on Sunday evening, the FFC condemned on the attack against its leaders in El Fasher during the public meeting.

"The Field Work Committee regrets what happened this evening in El Fasher after the chaos in the podium and the attack on some leaders of the Forces for Freedom and Change," read the statement.

"We apologize to the people of El Fasher and all the people of Darfur for the cancellation of the meeting," said the FFC before to add "We emphasize that this individual behaviour does not represent El Fasher people who received us with their generosity and hospitality."

Different sources said the SRF groups in Darfur have decided to carry out public protests to show their opposition for FFC groups and their upcoming government.

Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok stressed that he would actively work to achieve peace in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan.

(ST)