19 June 2017

Sudan: Umma Party Leader - 'Sudanese Insurgency Has Not Ended'

Wad Nubawi — The president of the National Umma Party (NUP) has described government reports about the end of the Sudanese insurgency as an illusion.

Speaking at the NUP's annual Ramadan breakfast at the party premises in Wad Nubawi in Omdurman, president El Sadig El Mahdi stated said that armed opposition forces are still present in several areas in South Kordofan, Blue Nile state, and Darfur.

The leader of the largest opposition party in Sudan reacted to reports of the country's military about the recent "elimination of rebel groups" in North and East Darfur and the rift in the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N).

Government officials reported the end of the insurgency in Darfur after surprise attacks by government forces on convoys of the Sudan Liberation Movement factions led by Minni Minawi and Nimir Abdelrahman in mid May, whereby many rebel fighters were killed or detained.

As for the SPLM-N that is fighting Khartoum in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, the Nuba Mountains faction has stood up against the movement's leadership, accusing them of softening their stances in the peace talks with the government.

'Leap'

El Mahdi called on Sudan's ruling party to launch "a genuine national leap" in order to achieve peace and democratic transformation in the country.

"The Khartoum regime has lost its viability," he said, and stressed that "The only viable option is to engineer a path towards peace, good governance, and a new constitution that guarantees all civic freedoms".

He urged the establishment of "a transitional national ruling mechanism not dominated by any party", and "that symbolically represents political forces, while being predominantly technocratic".

The opposition leader further urged the government to abide by its cessation of hostilities, ensure the flow of humanitarian relief, the release of all political prisoners. He as well called for the reformation of the country's regular armed forces "in a manner that ensures nationalism".

Sanctions

Regarding the US sanctions, the NUP chairman said that "The Khartoum regime believes that the limited measures taken by former President Barack Obama to ease the sanctions represent a transit vehicle towards normalisation with the international community".

The conditions for lifting the American sanctions are not fulfilled, including the extension of political freedoms, and the restoration of civic and press freedoms, he noted.

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