March 27, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – A day after Sudan’s 1st Vice President Ali Osman Taha made a call on rebels and opposition alike to renounce violence and agree to dialogue, doubts were cast over the motives behind it and whether it was genuine or not.
Mubarak al-Fadil (ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP/Getty Images)
Mubarak al-Fadil, leader of the dissolved Umma Reform and Renewal Party (URRP), considered the press conference which was held by Taha on Tuesday as a move to “market” himself as a successor for president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir who made public his intention not to seek a new term in 2015.
Taha said that “President Al-Bashir who I knew is sincere in his words”, asserting that the final decision on Al-Bashir’s political future will be determined by the institutions of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudanese people.
Al-Fadil said in a statement sent to Sudan Tribune on Wednesday that the country is “torn apart” and the Sudanese blood is “heavily flowing” and stressed there is no time for “maneuvering and deception”.
The opposition figure called on Bashir to stop the bloodshed and hand over power to a transitional government backed by the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF). The interim government, according to al-Fadil, should be responsible for holding a constitutional conference which will bring an end to the civil war and offer a framework for solving Sudan’s governance crisis.
He said that Taha presented himself as a savior of the country when he called the opposition forces to participate in the dialogue over a new constitution as if he wasn’t responsible for the humanitarian, political and economic crisis which has befallen in the country under this regime which he said is to blame for the secession of South Sudan as well as war crimes and genocide in Darfur.
Al-Fadil accused the government of impoverishing and humiliating Sudanese people as well as weakening the army, adding that Taha’s call for national dialogue lacks credibility because it comes at a time when the opposition leaders and political activists are stuck in prisons and detention centers only because they participated in a national dialogue conference on the future of governance and how to achieve peace in Sudan.
He was referring to the ’New Dawn’ charter of which he was a signatory earlier this year in Uganda that infuriated the NCP over clauses related to preventing exploitation of religion in political activities and restructuring state institutions.
Several figures which took part in the signing were swiftly arrested upon their return to Khartoum and remain in detention.
Taha had suggested that as relations with the South improve there is a less restrictive political atmosphere within Sudan
“We don’t see anything new in that. It is the same line,” said Farouk Abu Issa, who heads the opposition alliance called the National Consensus Forces (NCF) of more than 20 parties.
Bashir Adam Rahma, foreign relations secretary of the Popular Congress party (PCP), said the government “junta” has a history of calling for dialogue “on their own terms”.
Rahman said opposition wants to be part of a “transitional administration” which would include rebels and the NCP.
Taha also called on leaders of the Sudan people Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) Malik Agar and Abdulaziz al-Hilu fighting Khartoum in Blue Nile and South Kordofan states to take part in drafting the new constitution.
Sudan has been strongly resisting regional and international pressure to negotiate with SPLM-N rebels, calling its leaders outlaws and issuing arrest warrants for them.
But this month Sudanese officials expressed readiness to sit down with SPLM-N on the basis of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).
Article source: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article45997
January 12, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The representatives of opposition parties who signed the ’New Dawn’ charter in Uganda last week were fully authorized and mandated to endorse the document, an opposition figure said.
Mubarak al-Fadil, head of the disbanded Umma Renewal and Reform Party (URRP), and a former candidate for Sudanese Presidency (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
Mubarak al-Fadil who in 2011 disbanded his party and rejoined the National Umma Party (NUP) said in a statement today that the provisions included in the ’New Dawn’ were negotiated and agreed to by the signatories which included most major Sudanese opposition parties as well as armed movements fighting Khartoum on different fronts.
The charter aggravated the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) as it called for toppling the regime which came to power in a bloodless coup more than two decades ago.
Sudanese officials also fiercely attacked the agreement saying it is an attempt to sideline religion in the country and install a secular state.
The relation between the religion and state in Sudan has long been a sensitive and in some cases a taboo topic. The Islamist-backed NCP has persistently accused opposition parties including non-armed ones of supporting separation between religion and the state.
President Omer Hassan al-Bashir this week threatened to ban those parties which signed the charter.
So far the NUP, Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) and Popular Congress Party (PCP) appear to have backtracked on the deal for which they signed up for.
Reasons for reservations mentioned later ranged from opposing certain clauses to saying that they were rushed into signing it.
But al-Fadil suggested that these opposition parties are seeking excuses to “disown” what they signed.
“I say to the leaders of the parties whose representatives stamped this document with their authorization, consent and full coordination that this document is open for improvement [in line] with resolution of the closing meeting,” he said in a statement titled ’The Final Opportunity Document, Background and Secrets’.
“So do not waste time and use these minutiae details to escape from the national responsibility. Our people are dying in the thousands every day and our country is burning and disintegrating not only through the civil war but by Ingaz [nickname for government] policies that have brought poverty, hunger and disease,” he added.
“You [opposition leaders] should seize this last chance and be in front of the ranks to lead the popular revolution to overthrow the regime or step aside to give way to those who are capable the of leadership and sacrifice as there is no struggle without sacrifice,” Al-Fadil wrote.
On the issue of religion Al-Fadil said that the ’New Dawn’ simply re-endorsed the 1995 Asmara Declaration drafted by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) which agreed to disallow the exploitation of religion in politics.
This would be attained through prohibiting any legislation that conflicts with equal citizenship rights or international human right conventions.
He mentioned that this was agreed to by NUP leader al-Sadiq al-Mahdi in 1996 and all opposition parties that are now members of the National Consensus Forces (NCF).
Al-Fadil said the confusion and controversy was a result of a clause inserted in the charter by the armed groups which separates religious institutions from state institutions.
The opposition figure said that the NCP used this to portray the charter as a secular one.
He disclosed that it was explained to the armed movements that this item will not serve the goal of banning the use of religion in politics as religious institutions are run by the state.
However after the representatives consulted with their parties inside Sudan they agreed to include it.
Al-Fadil also dismissed the NCP assertions that the charter calls for undermining state saying that the ’New Dawn’ calls for restructuring the army and security services to guarantee its “professional and neutral” role.
He said that the means for changing the current regime were left to be determined by each signatory whether it be armed or peaceful adding that the armed movements did not oppose the popular struggle as a way to remove the NCP-led government.
Al-Fadil addressed the Sudanese president and the NCP saying that the unity of political opposition and armed movements is the only safeguard against further partitioning of the country.
“There is no longer room for maneuver or use of old already-tested and worn methods of arrest and intimidation and the threat to dissolve parties. If you [decide to] go down this route and returned back to square one then the result would be to push all the political forces in the direction of armed action as has happened in Libya and Syria,” he warned.
“This is the last chance for peaceful transition before explosion of the revolution. Either accept the consensus of the people of Sudan in this document and work on voluntary transfer of power to the people through the armed forces, as happened in Egypt and Tunisia, Yemen or either face the Sudanese people in their entirety and surely the will of the people is invincible,” Al-Fadil said.
The separation of Sudan in July 2011 into north and south has angered many within the country including those in the NCP and army who view it as the government’s biggest failure to preserve the unity of the country.
The loss of oil which mostly exists in South Sudan has thrown the country into an economic crisis as the flow of revenue and foreign currency dropped sharply causing a large decline in value of the currency and double digit inflation rates,
Furthermore, the ’Arab Spring’ revolutions have put more pressure on Khartoum to move into the direction of reforms. The NCP and Islamist base of the party have circulated unsigned memos calling for reforms in the state and the party.
In recent months however the government have stepped up its crackdown on newspapers and closed several pro-democracy centers.
Last November the Sudanese authorities announced that it thwarted a coup attempt planned by former spy chief and presidential adviser Salah Gosh along with dozens of army and security officers who are pro-regime.
Article source: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article45167
February 10, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese authorities on Friday dispersed a small demonstration staged by a group of mothers who have their children still detained since ten days ago for taking part in protests against the government.
Sudanese riot police hold their shields and sticks as students clashed with police heeding calls to take to the streets for a day of nationwide, anti-government protests despite a heavy security deployment in the capital Khartoum, on January 30, 2011 (AFP)
The women congregated at the residence of opposition leader Mubarak Al-Fadil whose two sons are also among those being held by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS).
They then moved using their private cars towards the NISS HQ to hand a petition demanding the release of the detainees within 72 hours or alternatively bring them to fair trials.
If the authorities do not free them, the women plan to stage a sit-in in front of NISS HQ until the detainees are let go.
But Sudanese police quickly surrounded them, confiscating signs they had in their possession. They took some of the women with them and dropped them off in different parts of the capital, according to Al-Fadil’s wife Sumaya Habani.
Among those held briefly by the police was Mariam Al-Mahdi who is a leading figure in the National Umma Party (NUP) and daughter of former prime minister Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi.
Sudanese youths have been attempting to mobilize through social networking sites and stage demonstrations in a manner similar to that of Tunisia and Egypt. However, they have only managed to assemble few hundreds and were quickly rounded up and arrested by NISS agents.
Human Rights Watch condemned Khartoum’s use of “excessive force” in silencing protests.
“Rather than violently repressing basic freedoms, the Khartoum government should uphold the rights enshrined in its own constitution, allow freedom of political expression, and let journalists freely report on events,” the New York-based group said in a statement last week.
Political tensions are growing in North Sudan as the South preparers to break away. Opposition parties are becoming increasingly frustrated with the full hegemony of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) over the state and decision making process.
The Sudanese president and NCP chairman Omer Hassan Al-Bashir vowed to allow opposition to become part of a broad-based government after the South’s independence.
The invitation drew mixed response though some opposition parties are reportedly in talks with the NCP on the details of the offer extended by Bashir.
Sudan is also in a deep economic crisis as budget deficit widened and inflation levels are soaring forcing the government to resort to unpopular measures such as removing subsidies on sugar and petroleum products.