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Interview: El Mahdi calls Darfur referendum ‘false’, asks tribes to lay-down arms

April 24 - 2016 PARIS
Sudan’s National Umma Party (NUP) leader, Imam El Sadig El Mahdi (Shadi Bushra / Reuters)
Sudan’s National Umma Party (NUP) leader, Imam El Sadig El Mahdi (Shadi Bushra / Reuters)

Sudan’s National Umma Party (NUP) leader, Imam El Sadig El Mahdi, pre-empted yesterday’s results of the Darfur administrative referendum, refused to recognise it, and called it “false”.

In an interview with Radio Dabanga broadcast yesterday, El Mahdi stressed that “the elections of 2015 and the Darfur administrative referendum are based on false procedures that their results cannot gain legitimacy”.

Speaking following a the conclusion of a four-day series of meetings of the Sudan Appeal signatories in Paris last week, he expressed doubts at the government’s ability to collect arms in Darfur “because now, the weapons have become tribal property, which represent a danger to the future of Sudanese national security”.

He added that “the regime has armed Arab tribes in Darfur in the framework of the ethnic clashes between Arabs and non-Arabs in an undisciplined, wrong plan”.

He explained that “the regime has distributed six million weapons in Darfur in a totally undisciplined way; incommensurate with the regulations of the armed forces’ distribution”.

Imam El Mahdi appealed via Radio Dabanga to all the tribes “to lay down their weapons and address their local problems through compromise and peaceful means”. He reiterated his appeal to the tribes “to completely refrain from resorting to solving problems with weapons which would lead only to more destruction and loss of life”.


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