A platform of Sudanese political, civil, and armed opposition groups agreed on a political communiqué entitled Sudan Appeal in Addis Ababa on Wednesday. The signatories will join their efforts to “dismantle the current one-party regime devastating the country”, and build a “democratic state based on citizenship”, through daily mass actions and a popular uprising.
The agreement signed by El Sadig El Mahdi on behalf of the National Umma Party, Minni Arko Minawi, for the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF, an alliance of the main rebel movements), Faroug Abu Eisa, for the National Consensus Forces (NCF, a coalition of opposition parties), and Dr Amin Mekki Madani, representative of the Sudanese civil society, is a follow-up of the New Dawn Charter, agreed on in Kampala in January 2013, that, however, failed to reach its objectives.
According to Yasir Arman, secretary-general of the Sudan’s People Liberation Movement-North, and SRF Foreign Relations secretary, the communiqué will support the joint opposition forces tremendously in their efforts to establish a new Sudan based on democratic principles”.
“The document will be disseminated to all Sudanese forces and civil society activists. It will be the pivot of all action,” he told Radio Dabanga from Addis Ababa on Wednesday evening.
“The Khartoum regime will have to deal with it as a fait accompli. It will have the option to either enter into a broad dialogue with the opposition, or face a popular uprising. In other words, to accept change or to be changed.”
NCF chairman Abu Eisa called the signing of the Sudan Appeal a “historic milestone”. He told Radio Dabanga that the unification of the opposition is essential for “removing the injustice prevalent in the country, and restoring democracy and the rule of law”. He added that the “agreed-on conditions and concepts set out in the two-page Sudan Appeal will extensively worked-out”.
For his part, Dr Madani stressed the importance of the civil society “to achieve peace and rebuild the country after being demolished during the past 25 years”. “Beside beside technical and humanitarian assistance to the underprivileged and the displaced, civil society members have a large role in nation-building and the establishment of human rights,” he stressed. “The signing of Sudan Appeal makes today the most important day in the history of Sudan”.
“The Sudan Appeal represents a new phase in the efforts to rebuild the country on the basis of peaceful coexistence, democracy, freedom, and human rights,” Dr Jibril Ibrahim, leader of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), and SRF co-vice-president told Radio Dabanga. He emphasised that the signatories will not enter any national dialogue, “unless all Sudanese opposition forces agree on a broad agenda, based on the principles agreed on in the Sudan Appeal”.
“We have come a long way to achieve SRF’s purpose to unify the opposition, after the main rebel movements joined ranks in 2011. We congratulate the Sudanese people with this major achievement,” the JEM leader added.
News photo: Dr Amin Mekki Madani, Chairman of the Sudanese Civil Society Initiative signs the Sudan Appeal. El Sadig El Mahdi, president of the National Umma Party is sitting at his left, 3 December 2014 (Radio Dabanga correspondent)
Related: Opposition forces sign ‘Sudan Appeal’ in Addis Ababa (3 December 2014)