3 October 2013

Sudan: Democratic Unionist Party Withdraws From Government

Khartoum / Kosti / Babanusa — The leadership of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has decided to resolve its partnership with the ruling National Congress Party and withdraw from the government.

The DUP leadership has raised its decision to the party leader to consolidate the decision. Speaking to Radio Dabanga, Ali El Sayid, lawyer and one of the leaders of the DUP, explained that the decision to resolve the partnership, results from a set of critical issues: The implementation of economic decisions on the lifting of the subsidy on fuel and price increases, the killing of peaceful demonstrators against these economic decisions, in addition to the large campaign of arrests of citizens, activists and politicians, launched by the security authorities since the outbreak of the protests and continuing until now.

El Sayid added that the National Congress Party did not consider the opinion of the DUP about many national issues, especially the decision to remove the fuel subsidies and raise the prices.

The DUP, established in 1967, is one of the two largest political parties in Sudan, the other party being the National Umma Party. The DUP joined the government of the National Congress Party (NCP) in December 2011, following an agreement between its leader, El Sayid Mohamed Othman El Mirghani and the NCP leadership. In 2012, a large group of party members presented an internal memo demanding El Mirghani to leave the government. DUP members remain divided over cooperation with the NCP.

Civil war

Dr Hassan El Turabi, leader of the opposition Popular Congress Party, has warned for an outbreak of a civil war if the current political crisis in Sudan continues. He demanded from President Omar El Bashir to leave power, saying "Hopefully the regime will leave by itself, before the people are forced to take up arms and a civil war will be raging in the country."

El Turabi called on the opposition parties to already prepare for a transition period after the overthrow of the regime, including a preparation of an interim constitution."


The Central Committee of the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) issued a statement reporting that "the militias of the National Congress Party are the ones that carried out the burning and looting of public institutions: They use sabotage and arson, the same tactics as employed in Darfur, South Kordofan and the Blue Nile state. There, villages have been burned and property of citizens looted, while during the demonstrations, armed militias used knives, machetes and petrol bombs in burning universities and boarding schools, and looting the property of the students."

Arrests continue

Security authorities have arrested Ali El Kanin, member of the Political Bureau of the SCP, in front of his house in El Mohandiseen district in Omdurman. In Kosti, White Nile state, security agents arrested, during the past two days, Abdelmunim Abbas Ahmed Salih, Abdelgadir Magboul Ali Suleiman, and Mohammed El Haytham Ahmed Bilal. Salih was released after being tortured. Earlier, in Babanusa, North Kordofan state, other members of the SCP were arrested, including Ismail Abdelrahman Abdelmawla, Mohamed Matoug Sayed Ahmed, and El Sheikh Ahmed Biloul.

The security forces in Babanusa also arrested Mohamed Yousif Eisa, reporter of El Midan, the newspaper of the SCP. Eisa's relatives said that security forces arrested him at the city market and took him to an unknown destination. Security agents had been watching his house and his movements for a week, following the outbreak of protests against the price hikes in Sudan.

In Khartoum security forces arrested journalist Samia El Matbaaji on Tuesday afternoon in front of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Khartoum, when she was taking photographs of a sit-in organised by medical students. She was released late in the evening of the same day. On Wednesday she was summoned and interrogated for hours on charges of "inciting protesters", after which she was released again.

File photo by Laura Mann (DUP election poster, 2010)

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