Khartoum Blames Foreigners For Inciting Protests in Sudan

Article Summary
The Sudanese government is accusing foreign parties of being behind the protests taking place around the country, reports Al-Nour Ahmad al-Nour, amid unofficial reports of the repression of protests originating in mosques. In response to opposition calls for a constituent assembly, President Omar al-Bashir has asked for a national dialogue.

The Sudanese government has accused foreign actors of fomenting protests in different areas of Khartoum and other states. In the latest statistics it has released regarding the demonstrations, the Sudanese government stated that 85% of demonstrations are being organized abroad.

Upon the launching of National Information Week (July 9–12), Sudan’s vice president Al-Haji Adam Yusuf said that these external forces are after the country and its resources. He added that if the people wanted to take to the streets, nobody would deter them.

The government also accused foreign TV channels of supporting the demonstrations. The protests have called for the ousting of the regime, but have also highlighted grievances related to the deteriorating economic conditions that have led to higher prices and worsening living conditions.

Ali Othman Mohammed Taha, the first and current vice president of Sudan, said that the government intends to open dialogue with political parties so that a peaceful exchange of power can be arranged. This development comes on the heels of several demonstrations openly calling for the fall of the regime. Taha also stated that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir wants to meet with party leaders in coming weeks. In a statement he made to a national TV station, he added that the parties involved will agree on adopting a new constitution to replace the current one. He stressed that debates would be held on all major constitutional issues.

Sudanese opposition forces have called for the holding of a constitutional conference as well as a constituent assembly that brings together all parties. Together, they will make up the base of a transitional government which would be able to end the rebellion and settle disputes in the southern states of Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur through dialogue.

On the other hand, former prime minister and National Umma Party (NUP) leader Al-Sadiq al-Mahdi said that his party did not forbid a demonstration from exiting the al-Ansar mosque, adding that such claims were lies aimed to mislead. He asserted that at the latest NUP meeting, the party leaders praised the protests, describing them as a milestone that proved the resilience of the Sudanese people.

In a press communiqué, NUP political secretary Sarah Naqdallah said that the party’s political bureau rejects the government policy of starvation and repression, and that such a policy will not succeed. She also declared the party’s support for the youth, women and the elderly, and called for steadfastness against the ruling regime.

Unofficial reports have confirmed that the NUP’s political bureau requested that protests originating in mosques be halted on the grounds that these are places of worship. The NUP stated that protesters could instead rally in the mosques’ backyards.

The spokesman of Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP), Badreldin Ahmed, described the NUP’s alleged move as “sound.” He claimed that it was appropriate to prevent mosques from being used for sabotage and destruction. The spokesman underlined that mosques must remain places of worship, in which only undisputed national issues can be discussed.

Found in: sudan protests, sudan, omar al-bashir, omar, national congress party in sudan, khartoum

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