Sudan's opposition 'unimpressed' by Al Bashir speech

Dr Mariam Almahdi deputy leader of Sudan's National Umma Party - NUP
Dr Mariam Almahdi deputy leader of Sudan’s National Umma Party – NUP


The speech of President Omar Al Bashir at the general convention of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) in Khartoum on Saturday, has not impressed the opposition forces.

According to Jibril Adam Bilal, the spokesman for the Justice and Equality Movement, the speech is part of the genocide programme of the Sudanese government. He told Radio Dabanga that the SRF is committed to the agreements made with the chairman of the AU High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), former South African President Thabo Mbeki, and not President Al Bashir.

“We will attend the negotiation sessions in Addis Ababa, as scheduled by the AUHIP team. The government delegates are welcome. If they do not appear at the negotiation table, we will consider our next steps.”

Abdel Wahid El Nur, leader of the mainstream Sudan Liberation Movement, and co-deputy head of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF, an alliance of the main rebel movements) commented: “Al Bashir, with his speech of Saturday, closed the door to any dialogue with the armed movements and underlines the lack of seriousness of the Sudanese government concerning the peace process”.

“What is left now, is the toppling of Al Bashir’s regime by all military means, supported by a broad intifada,” El Nur told Radio Dabanga.

Paris Declaration

Al Bashir in his speech also stated that if the leader of the National Umma Party (NUP), El Sadig El Mahdi, currently abroad, does not relinquish the Paris Declaration, he will be detained upon his return to Sudan.

On 8 August, El Mahdi and SRF head Malik Agar signed the Paris Declaration in the French capital. The principles agreement aims to gather all Sudanese in order to achieve a national consensus as a starting point for change towards a democratic Sudan. The Declaration states that the Khartoum regime has the choice to respond to its contents, or expect a national uprising. Dr Maryam El Mahdi, NUP co-deputy president, was detained by security officers at Khartoum airport upon her return from Paris on 11 August. She was released on 9 September.

“Threats by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) to the NUP and its leader do not scare us. We will not recall our decisions,” Dr El Mahdi said in response to the announcement by the NISS on Saturday evening that a suit will be filed soon against El Sadig El Mahdi, because of his involvement in “activities against the state”.

“The NUP will keep to its commitment to the Paris Declaration”, Dr El Mahdi told Radio Dabanga today. “We consider the Declaration a major breakthrough in the Sudanese political arena.”

She added that the NUP “regrets the disrespectful language used by the President of Sudan – though this is nothing new”. “It is normal that Al Bashir turns up with an aggressive speech, throwing around insulting phrases, and creating a lot of commotion. After a while, however, he comes back on his statements, and things are quiet again.”

Radio Dabanga