19 November 2012

Sudan: Umma Party Leader Relieves His Deputy Over Relations With Sudanese Rebel Alliance

Khartoum — Umma National Party (UNP) leader Sadiq Al-Mahdi relieved his deputy Nasser Eddin Al-Mahdi from his position saying the latter preferred to join the rebels rather than to remain in the main opposition party.

Nassser Eddin joint the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) last year during a visit to Juba where he was tasked by his party to meet South Sudanese leadership and the Sudanese rebel groups there.

After his defection, the party leader said that Nasser Eddin was tasked to meet the rebel groups and to convince them to support UNP call for a negotiated settlement with the regime.

In a statement released on Monday, Sadiq Al-Mahdi said it had been decided in August of this year to not dismiss Nasser Eddin from his position until the latter meets him. He added that the meeting took place in London on 14 November.

He disclosed that he took his decision to relive him from his position as deputy president on the same day after the reunion.

Sadiq Al-Mahdi stressed in his communiqué that he explained to Nasser Eddin that being a deputy president does not feet with his position as leading member in the rebel alliance stressing that having the two positions means that the UNP is also a member of the SRF.

The former prime minister said that Nasser Eddin preferred to leave his position in the main opposition party and to keep his membership in the SRF.

UNP leader said he proposed him to continue dialogue with the rebels to reach a strategic agreement on the political solution.

Nasser Eddin issued a statement minimizing Mahdi's decision saying that the regime remains their principle enemy stressing that they toppled the legitimate government in 1989.

He further blamed "some political leaders" for their inaction adding this situation prevented the party from challenging the dictatorship and created divisions within the party

The opposition party stands against the armed struggle saying it may destabilize the country and lead to the emergence of warlords and the collapse of central authority.

Instead, the UNP proposes to hold a national conference including all the political forces and rebel groups to achieve democratic transition but also to settle all the armed conflicts in the country .

The rejection of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) of this proposal pushed, Sadiq Al-Mahdi last week to launch a call for national disobedience .

The governing party says ready for dialogue with the Umma party but declines his call for the comprehensive and inclusive process saying there are no political crisis in Sudan requiring such conference.

Sadiq's position is also criticised within the UNP, while his allies of the opposition parties suspect him of having a secret deal with the regime particularly his son Abdel-Rahman participates in his personal capacity as presidential assistant in the national government.

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