Sudan’s anti-government figures slam government propaganda over border fighting
May 7, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – A group of Sudanese rebels and disaffected opposition members met in London on Monday and declared rejection to violence between their country and neighboring South Sudan as well as to the jingoism invoked by the government of president Al-Bashir in the wake of Heglig fighting.
Malik Agar (C), leader of the SPLM-N with Major General Ahmed Omda Buday (R) and Brigadier General Stephen Amad (L) © Photo Jared Ferrie
The group includes Malik Aggar, chairman of the Sudanese Revolutionary Forces (SRF), a coalition of rebel groups seeking to oust the government, Ali Al-Haj, the Germany-based assistant secretary-general of the opposition Popular Congress Party (PCP), Al-Tom Haju, a prominent member of the ex-opposition Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), and Nasr Al-Din al-Hadi, a member of the National Umma Party (NUP).
Haju and Al-Hadi are dissenting members of the DUP and the NUP. They chose to side with the rebel SRF unlike their parties who say they no longer represent them.
In a statement released to the media, the opposition figures condemned any resort to violence by Sudan or South Sudan in settling border disputes, calling on both sides to seek international arbitration to address border issues.
They also condemned in the strongest terms the exploitation by the Khartoum government of the incident of South South’s brief occupation of Heglig disputed oil area last month to mobilize Sudanese people under the slogans of racial hatred and through the use of vile language.
They accused Khartoum of using Heglig to operate a propaganda machine on full-swing, silence dissent and intimidate opponents through charges of treachery.
According to their statement, the purpose of this “misleading media frenzy” and “the drums of war” is to cover up the regime’s failure to keep the country united, run the economy and escape the inevitable popular uprising.
The group also lambasted Khartoum for banning cross-border trade with South Sudan, warning that the move represents a declaration of war against overlapping tribes in border regions.
The statement also called on the international community to help avert a humanitarian crisis in Sudan’s border regions of South Kordofan and Blue Nile “before it’s too late” by bringing Khartoum to accept delivery of aid in those areas.
Finally, the statement said that the attendants of the meeting are united in their view that all problems of Sudan stem from the existing regime and unless it is removed, Sudanese people can never enjoy their political, humanitarian, economic, social and cultural rights.