31 January 2013

Sudan Party Leader Joins Rebels and Signs New Dawn Charter

Photo: Ammar Abd Rabbo/IRIN
The charter aims to topple the government of president Omar Al-Bashir (file photo).

Kampala — Yousef al-Koda, leader of the Islamic Wasat (Central) Party, signed the New Dawn charter in Kampala, joining rebel groups and other political parties who had previously endorsed the document.

Malik Agar, head of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) and al-Koda released a joint statement on Thursday confirming the information from Kampala, Uganda's capital, where the charter was signed.

"New Dawn" calls for overthrowing the regime through "political and armed struggle". Furthermore, it stresses the importance of a united Sudan and the freedom of expression and religion.

Rule of law, an independent judicial system, a peaceful transfer of power, democracy and a federal system are additional matters the document calls for.

Signatories also want to provide citizenship for everyone, and eradicate segregation and discrimination based on different religious or ethnic backgrounds via the charter.

Other issues have not yet been completely agreed upon, which are requiring further discussion between the signatory parties.

They include more dialogue between all political parties in Sudan, and most importantly, the future ruling system in the country including the connection between religion and state.

The issues above should be decided during a "constitutional conference" that is yet to be scheduled, the joint statement read.

al-Koda affirmed to Radio Dabanga he went to Kampala following the invitation of New Dawn signatory parties "with an open mind and an open heart, wishing to join the charter".

On his turn, Agar told Radio Dabanga al-Koda is "a real addition to the New Dawn Charter", which he described as "a serious attempt to find answers about all Sudanese issues".

He further said the document will provide a platform for signatory parties to find common ground and reach consensus on a series of matters about Sudan.

The SRF head emphasized the charter is still open for negotiations, adding that even those who did not yet endorsed it are welcome to join the talks.

Agar stressed this will hopefully pave the way for all people of Sudan to be "on the same page" when it comes to the future of the country.

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