8 August 2014

Sudan: Opposition Parties Sign for Toppling Regime

Photo: Radio Dabanga
The delegations of the National Umma Party (NUP) and the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF, an alliance of the main rebel movements)

Paris — The delegations of the National Umma Party (NUP) and the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF, an alliance of the main rebel movements) today announced the 'Paris Declaration': their statement to unite Sudan's opposition forces and their solution to a "democratic transformation in Sudan".

The first face-to-face meeting of the Umma Party leader Imam El Sadig El Mahdi with the chairman of the SRF, Malik Agar, ander other leaders started in Paris, capital of France, on Wednesday and ended on Friday.

In the press release, the two parties stated that the declaration is a response to the wish of the Sudanese citizens -to end to the regime in Khartoum under President Omar Al Bashir- and unifies all political parties and civil society organisations in Sudan. "It also aims to stop all war crimes and provide security to all citizens, in particular the internally displaced people and the refugees," El Mahdi and Agar wrote.

The Umma Party and the SRF delegations agreed in Paris to:

1. "Maintain the unity of Sudan according to justice and equal citizenship;

2. Stop the war -because that is the only correct way for any national dialogue to commence-, provide freedoms to the citizens, and reach to a transitional government until the elections;

3. Cease all hostilities in all areas the SRF operates;

4. Use the cessation of hostilities to tackle the humanitarian crises and to stop air strikes against civilians;

5. Provide no one with impunity, and to achieve justice and accountability;

6. Address the regional (African Union, Egypt, Chad) and international community (Arab League, United Nations, European Union) about the Paris Declaration and the conclusion of the meeting in Paris;

7. Hold the violent Khartoum regime responsible for the targeting of civilians and committing war crimes;

8. Transfer Sudan to a democracy, although Al Bashir's regime has put many obstacles in the way to achieving this goal. The President wants to reproduce his regime through the National Dialogue, (to be held between the majority of the government parties and opposition parties, ed.).

9. Hold the regime responsible for stirring up ethnic and tribal differences and destroying the social fabric, in an attempt to control power;

10. Prioritise the humanitarian crises in Sudan's conflict areas. The Umma Party and the SRF want to address and improve the security situation citizens, displaced people, and refugees live in. The affected people are to be compensated individually as well as collectively. Finally, the relation between the states and the central government, should be reconstructed and restructured."

Freedom and democracy

The statement is subdivided into the chapters Freedom and democracy, The unity of the opposition parties, and The war in South Sudan. In Freedom and democracy, the parties agreed to:

1. "Discuss the relationship between state and religion, which is a core issue, and continue talking until they reach an agreement;

2. Create the right conditions for the National Dialogue by releasing all political detainees, primarily Ibrahim El Sheikh, president of the Sudanese Congress Party (SCP), and all war hostages from the government and the rebel side;

3. Not participate in any upcoming general election, unless they are held under a transitional government, set up under national consensus by all parties."

Unity of opposition parties

In The unity of the joint opposition parties and forces, the parties agreed to:

1. "Unify all opposition parties and forces, for the Umma Party and the SRF know that they can not achieve the goals set by the Paris Declaration without unifying;

2. Let women, youth, and students participate effectively in this union;

3. Tackle the issue of the water dams, and other national projects, in Sudan, and the people affected by them: who had to desert their villages for the construction of the dams;

4. The fact that a peaceful solution is the best way, but will continue to topple the current regime through an uprising."

War in South Sudan

On the war in South Sudan, the parties stated that they "support the regional and international efforts to achieve peace and reconciliation in South Sudan. The Umma Party and the SRF will address the country's conflicting parties and urge them to put and end to their war. They also agreed that Sudan will not be a part of any conflict, regionally or internationally, and normalises its relationship with the international community.

In the conclusion of this meeting, the parties agreed to continue their dialogue and to visit the Sudanese displaced people and refugees in the camps. They will explain the Paris Declaration to the international community, "in order to stop the war and achieve a transitional government, and to respond to the demands of the Sudanese people".

News photo: Chairman of the SRF, Malik Agar, and the head of the NUP, Imam El Sadig El Mahdi, during the signing of the Paris Declaration. On the left, El Tom Hajo, chairman of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and vice-president of the SRF. On the right: Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-AW) chairman Abdel Wahid Al Nur. (Radio Dabanga correspondent)

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