The president of the National Umma Party (NUP), El Sadig El Mahdi, said he expects the Sudanese government to face intense domestic pressure that would push it towards accepting the Paris Declaration, which he signed with the Sudanese rebels, or else face a national uprising.
“The regime has demonstrated throughout its troubled history that it usually rejects useful new ideas, to later accept it later under pressure,” El Mahdi said in his remarks before European Union (EU) ambassadors in Cairo on Thursday.
El Mahdi told the envoys that the Paris declaration represents a historic breakthrough because it included the most important aspirations of the Sudanese people. He underscored that the accord enjoys the overwhelming support of the Sudanese people.
“The regime officially refused the Paris Declaration... The declaration took the lead of the national initiative from the regime, that is under multi-dimension siege,” the opposition leader said.
He said that the means to achieve the aspirations of the Sudanese stipulated by the Paris Declaration are peacefully and politically. Either “a dialogue under neutral chairmanship, similar to the Codesa” [Convention for a Democratic South Africa] is reached, or the people move to “a peaceful uprising”, he explained.
'Khartoum cannot achieve peace'
The Umma party leader pointed out that by mid-2014, it became clear that the National Dialogue which was adopted by the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) is “clinically dead” and peace talks have equally stalled. He noted that Khartoum failed to achieve peace in Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile states through the Doha (2011) and Addis Ababa (2014) forums. The Addis Ababa talks between the government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) on the Two Areas have been stalled since the parties could not reach an agreement.
El Mahdi appealed to regional and international community to study the Paris Declaration. The opposition figure said that if regional and international communities are convinced about the usefulness of the Paris Declaration, they can help in the process by addressing Sudanese stakeholders, or cancelling external debts, sanctions, frozen funds, and accept the country back into the international community.
File photo: Malik Agar (L) of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) and National Umma Party leader El Sadig El Mahdi during the signing of the Paris Declaration, 8 August 2014 (photo by Radio Dabanga)