12 December 2012

Sudan - NUP Threatens 'Strong' Protests Against Government

Photo: Mohamed Siddig/UNMIS
Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir voting (file photo).

Khartoum — Sudan's opposition National Umma Party (NUP) directed on Wednesday a barrage of criticism against the government's foreign and domestic policies, vowing to stage a "strong" protest movement against them.

In a press conference held at the party's headquarters in Omdurman, NUP's secretary-general Ibrahim Al-Amin said that the policies of the government of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) had become unacceptable to both Sudanese people and the international community.

Al-Amin said that the events of Al-Gazira University, in reference to the alleged killing last week of four students from the western region of Darfur by pro-government agents, are a "national disaster".

The death of the student has sparked a wave of demonstrations at universities across the country but opposition parties are yet to throw their weight behind the young protesters.

He also accused the government of allowing radical Islamist groups to run rampant and recruit people, referring to reports of a gun battle that erupted on 30 November between government forces and a group of Islamist extremists around a Jihad training camp they set up in Al-Dindir Wildlife Park.

The party official also criticized the government's handling of the outstanding issues with neighboring South Sudan. He said that these issues, including the status of the hotly contested region of Abyei, will eventually be referred to the UN Security Council which, he warned, will treat them with resolutions against Sudan's interests.

Al-Amin stressed the importance of reaching a balanced solution to the problem of Abyei, accusing the NCP of keeping Al-Missryah nomads, who contest ownership of the region with South Sudan's Dinka Ngok, in the dark regarding the negotiations with Juba on the status of the region.

The NUP official said that his party's political strategy is predicated on achieving peaceful change of the regime through protests and civil disobedience.

Similarly, the head of the NUP's politburo Sara Nugud Allah confirmed that her party is planning to construct a "strong" protest movement. Speaking in the same press conference, she warned that the worsening economic conditions and contracting economy will accelerate the downfall of the regime.

Sara blasted the government's 2013 budget proposal saying it neglected the needs of citizens for health and education while concentrating spending on security apparatus in a "ridiculous manner".

NUP leader Al-Sadiq al-Mahdi recently warned that they would stage sit-ins in public parks but he did not specify a timeframe for the action.

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