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Sudan: FFC-CC walk out from political dialogue due to FFC-NA presence

September 6 - 2022 KHARTOUM
The Trilateral Mechanism met with representatives of the Democratic Unionist Party, the FFC-CC, the National Accord Forces, and others who presented an initiative for transitional arrangements on September 1 (UNITAMS)
The Trilateral Mechanism met with representatives of the Democratic Unionist Party, the FFC-CC, the National Accord Forces, and others who presented an initiative for transitional arrangements on September 1 (UNITAMS)

The mainstream Forces for Freedom and Change-Central Council (FFC-CC) withdrew from an informal meeting called by the Sudan QUAD (United States of America, Britain, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates) with rebel movements and the military on Saturday.

The meeting was held at the invitation of the Quartet and was supposed to include representatives of the military junta, the rebel movements that signed the Juba Peace Agreement with the Sudanese government in October 2020, and the FFC-CC.

Jaafar Hasan, a leading member of the FFC-CC, told Radio Dabanga that their delegation withdrew from the meeting after noticing the presence of members of the National Accord Forces (NAF), which is dominated by Darfur rebel movements, while the other rebel movements were absent.

“We consider this like dumping the political process,” he said. The meeting was cancelled after their withdrawal.

The National Accord Forces is the new name for the Forces for Freedom and Change-National Accord (FFC-NA) following their announcment of their political vision on August 23. The group, dominated by members of former Darfur rebel movements who support the October 2021 military coup, split off from the mainstream FFC in October 2021, and is headed by Mubarak Ardol*.

A leading member of the National Umma Party (NUP), Siddig Ismail, told Medameek news that the meeting ended after the FFC-CC refused the participation of Minni Minawi, who was representing the NAF, given that the invitation was for those who signed Juba Peace Agreement, before the NAF split off and came into being.

Hasan said that the FFC-CC “pursues several methods to bring down the coup regime, including a political process, street escalation, and international cooperation”.

Sources reported that the military junta did not send a delegation to the meeting despite being invited to it, which was also seen as problematic by the FFC-CC.

The FFC-CC did clarify to Medameek news that their participation in a meeting with the military junta only had the aim to clarify their ‘declared and firm’ position in opposition of the October 25 military coup and in favour of a civilian-led democratic transition.

The FFC-CC has been criticised in the past for its willingness to enter dialogue with the military junta responsible for the coup.

NAF critique

Mubarak Ardol, Secretary-General of the National Accord Forces, criticised the approach of the international QUAD to solve the political crisis.

He said yesterday that the last call made by the Quartet was an “exclusionary scheme” as it was limited to the military, the FFC-CC, the Sudan Liberation Movement, and the Justice and Equality Movement.

“Excluding components such as the mainstream Democratic Unionist Party, the Sudan People’s Call initiative, and the youth of the resistance committees from the dialogue can only lead to devastation that exceeds the situation before October 25,” he stated.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), the oldest political party in Sudan, is an ally of the NAF. The Sudan People’s Call is an alliance of right-wing groups, including allies of the ousted Islamist dictatorship of Omar Al Bashir, and was established in July this year. They want the army to be the “supreme authority” in Sudan.

The country’s resistance committees categorically reject any dialogue with the military.

Dialogues between different political groups in Sudan have been taking place for months to find a solution to the political crisis after the military took power on October 25, 2021.

* The National Accord Forces is chaired by Mubarak Ardol, the former spokesmen for the Sudan People Liberation Movement-North, was re-appointed director of the Sudanese Company for Mineral Resources in early 2020 by the government of PM Abdallah Hamdok. Ardol reportedly maintains friendly ties with the ousted National Congress Party of dictator Omar Al Bashir. He supported the October 2021 coup in various instances. Sudanese social media activists regularly call someone whom they consider a defector from the revolutionary course or any politician they do not trust ‘Ardoli’ or ‘Ardolian’.

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