Sudan’s Umma Party mobilising for ‘national uprising’
The National Umma Party (NUP) is mobilising its cadres in Sudan in preparation for a national uprising. The ruling National Congress Party (NCP) announced that the case of NUP’s deputy, Dr Maryam El Mahdi, will be dealt with by “the competent authorities”. The Darfur displaced welcomed the Paris Declaration.
The Umma Party’s secretary-general, Sara Nugdallah, told Radio Dabanga that the party decided to mobilise its cadres throughout the country for a “peaceful national uprising, for the sake of the Paris Declaration, and the release of NUP Deputy-President Dr Maryam El Sadig El Mahdi”.
Nugdallah demanded Dr Maryam El Mahdi’s her immediate release. “We are ready for anything, now the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) wants to take us back to square one. The Paris Declaration has been widely acclaimed, and now has to reach the entire population of the country.”
Dr El Mahdi was apprehended at Khartoum airport by security officers upon her return from Paris on Monday evening, and deported to the federal Women’s Prison in Omdurman. She had participated in a historic meeting between the leaders of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF, an alliance of the main rebel movements) and the NUP in Paris last week. The meeting resulted in the Paris Declaration in which both sides agreed on unifying the Sudanese opposition for the sake of ending the civil wars in the country, and cooperate for the development of a democratic Sudan.
Concerning the detention of Dr Maryam El Mahdi, NCP media secretary Yasir Yousif told the press on Tuesday that “competent authorities will deal with the issue according to the applicable laws governing the country”.
Regarding the Paris Declaration, he commented that “what they have been looking for in Paris, they could have found in their home country”.
“They are like the person who replaces the highest with the lowest. What Sudan is offering its people now, is much more than what their Paris Declaration is pretending.” The media secretary confirmed that the road map, approved by the National Dialogue mechanism, is binding for the NCP and the other signatories.
Implementation ‘on the ground’
Hussein Abu Sharati, the spokesman for the Association of Darfur Displaced and Refugees, told Radio Dabanga from Kalma camp in South Darfur, that the displaced hailed the Paris Declaration. He called on all Sudanese opposition forces, in particular the National Consensus Forces (NCF, a coalition of opposition parties), and the civil society organisations, to join the Declaration, and “start implementing it on the ground”.
In Zalingei, the coordinator of the Central Darfur camps welcomed the signing of the Paris Declaration and described it as a “serious step to resolve all the problems of the country”.
“The displaced in Darfur have been given hope again. They are now counting on the Paris Declaration and a popular uprising to topple the regime in Khartoum.”
“We need everyone to deal seriously with this Declaration, without spoiling it by political manoeuvres, as happened with previous declarations and agreements,” the camp coordinator warned. He demanded via Radio Dabanga from the NCF parties and the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) signatories to join the joint SRF-NUP declaration.
He called on the Sudanese people not to fear the NCP, “just as the detention of Dr Maryam El Mahdi should not frighten the political forces”, and appealed to the Sudanese to “forget all bitterness and political conflicts, and unify forces to uproot the Khartoum regime, for the sake of freedom and democracy”.
In eastern Chad, where about 300,000 Darfuri refugees are residing in 12 camps, the Paris Declaration has been widely welcomed. Ali Yagoub, the head of Treguine refugee camp, told Radio Dabanga that the camp residents consider the Declaration an “important step to overthrow the regime, put an end to the suffering of all Sudanese, enable the refugees and displaced to return to their homes, and hold accountable those who committed crimes against civilians”.
“The Darfuri refugees in eastern Chad appeal to all the Sudanese opposition forces and the regional and international communities to support the Paris Declaration,” Yagoub stressed.
File photo: SRF and NUP leaders in Paris, a day before the signing of the Declaration, 7 August 2014. From left to right: Minni Minawi, Sudan Liberation movement-MM; Dr Jibril Ibrahim, Justice and Equality Movement; El Sadig El Mahdi, NUP chairman; Malik Agar, SRF chairman; Abdel Wahid El Nur, Sudan Liberation movement-AW; Dr Maryam El Sadig El Mahdi, NUP co-vice presiden; El Tom Hajo, Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), and Yasir Arman, SRF Foreign Relations Secretary (Radio Dabanga)
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