El Sadig El Mahdi, leader of the National Umma Party (NUP) and chairman of the Sudan Call, met with representatives of the British All-Party Parliamentary Group on Sudan and South Sudan last week.
El Mahdi travelled to London following his recent election as the new chairman of the Sudan Call, an alliance of Sudanese opposition groups, in Paris early last week.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group, chaired by Sir Henry Bellingham, reported in a press statement on Friday, that the two parties met in the House of Lords. They discussed “a wide range of topics, including the AUHIP Roadmap process, the protests and ongoing detentions in Sudan, and the bilateral relationship”.
Commenting after the meeting, Lord Alton, the Group’s vice-chairman said that “I am glad that the opposition have united once again as the Sudan Call – the UK Government should respond by inviting the Sudan Call to the UK for a structured dialogue.
“I wish Imam El Sadig all the best in his vital work and look forward to working closely with him to bring about peace, justice and human rights in Sudan.”
Last year, the Parliamentary Group published a report on UK-Sudan relations, calling for human rights to be prioritised by the UK Government. The report argued that the UK Government was in danger of losing its reputation as a human rights standard-bearer due to competing concerns of tackling irregular migration and extremism in the region.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group is a group of over more than 100 British MPs which aims to raise issues of peace, social justice and human rights in Sudan and South Sudan.
The Sudan Revolutionary Front rebel alliance, the NUP, the National Consensus Forces (coalition of opposition parties), and the Civil Society Initiative signed the Sudan Call (also referred to as Sudan Appeal) in Addis Ababa on December 3, 2014. Other Sudanese groups and parties joined them in the following year.
The Sudan Call is a two-page political communiqué calling for the ending of the civil wars in the country, the dismantling of the one-party system, and the rebuilding of Sudan based on democratic principles and equal citizenship. The signatories agreed that if a peaceful regime-change cannot be achieved by a broad national dialogue, it should be enforced by an intifada.
On March 12, the members of the group met again in the French capital for a series of consultative meetings that would last until Saturday.
El Mahdi told Radio Dabanga after the conclusion of the meetings that the allied opposition forces will mobilise the people in Sudan for nationwide protests “for a cumulative movement towards the popular uprising”. At the same time, they will respond to the initiative of the international community and the AU to revive the roadmap based on the African resolutions no. 456 and 539 and the clarifications approved by the mediators which find regional and international support.
The meetings stressed the need for the Khartoum regime to abide by the procedures and conditions of creating a conducive climate as an input to resolve the political crises in the country and called on the mediators of the AU High-Implementation Panel (AUHIP) to act as well for the release of the political detainees in Sudan.