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‘Sudan's low voter turnout means a vote for change’: rebel leader

April 20 - 2015 ADDIS ABABA
Yasir Arman, Secretary-General of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) and Sudan Revolutionary Front External Relations Officer (file photo)
Yasir Arman, Secretary-General of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) and Sudan Revolutionary Front External Relations Officer (file photo)

The 2015 general election has brought about “new political realities”, says Yasir Arman, External Relations Officer of the Sudan Revolutionary Front rebel alliance and Secretary-General of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North.

In a statement released today, Arman lauds the “15 percent voter turnout”, saying that the boycott of the election by the majority of the Sudanese represents “a vote of no confidence in the regime, and it is, indeed, a vote for change”.  

“The Sudanese people understand clearly that the only way out of economic misery and to address economic hardship is through ending wars and corruption through democratic transformation, especially as more than 70 percent of the budget is being used for war and security, and less than two percent is being used for health and education.

“Unification of the opposition, as represented in the Sudan Appeal, will be the correct way forward to constitute a solid alternative to dictatorship, genocide, and corruption, and to put Sudan on a new road that will end the war and bring peace, democratic transformation, and regional stability [..]”.

According to the rebel leader, the failure of the second dry season offensive is also having a negative impact on the government.

Another miscalculation, he says, is Sudan’s joining of the Operation Decisive Storm in Yemen, “as a tactical move to address his economic and political difficulties with the Gulf States”. Al Bashir is “trying to use his involvement in Operation Decisive Storm, as a cover to undermine the role of the AU High-level implementation Panel (AUHIP) and the African Union in their engagement in Sudan. That is why he failed to show up for the pre-dialogue meeting in Addis Ababa. This should not be allowed by both the Arabs and the Africans, as they are both suffering from General Al Bashir’s involvement in the de-stabilisation of the region, from Libya to Yemen to Central Africa”.  

Scenarios

Two scenarios are on the table, the rebel leader states. “The first scenario is a decisive uprising with its chances growing every day [..]”. This scenario is to be enhanced with a convention organised for all the Sudanese opposition forces, “to join the Sudan Appeal and discuss the development of clear political programme”.  

The second scenario is to establish a new approach for a peaceful settlement of the wars in the country, that will end the ability of Al Bashir “to keep the status quo by engaging the opposition in non-stop negotiations, which are fruitless and only aim to achieve a piece-meal solution”. 

The new approach must take the ending of the fighting and addressing the humanitarian crises as an entry point. Secondly, basic freedoms should be restored in the country, “as they are required for any fruitful engagement”.  

Arman concludes by saying that “the real answer is in the hands of those who decided to boycott the election. The answer lies in Sudan. It has never been found abroad”.


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