Asmara ‑ 6.6. 1999

(Presented to the NDA leadership council meetings)

1 ‑ national problems of Sudan are many. Some of which are due to the nature of the economic and social backwardness, some are inherited since the colonial era and some are due to political failures after independence. But the lion’s share was taken by the dictatorial military regimes in bad performance and the length of their stay in power; these regimes deepened and complicated the country’s problems especially during the NIF regime, which seized power on the 30th of June 1989.

This regime set a record in planting corruption in the country, as it did the following:

  • Imposed a totalitarian, dictatorial exclusionist rule that claimed divine authority, classified its opponents as traitors, outlaws and infidels. This rule keeps its power through the will of a single party and the police state. This rule is based on the exclusion and negation of other opinions and forced its opponents to resist it in every possible way.
  • It deepened and complicated the inherited civil war classifying it as a religious war (Jihad)
  • It spoiled the long established relations of mutual positive neighbourliness by adopting an expansionist policy to disseminate the official ideology using local factions working to destabilise by force the systems of rule in the neighbouring countries.
  • It plugged the Sudan in the international terrorist rejection networks and thereby tarnished the image of the Sudanese citizen who became accused by virtue of his nationality and passport.

2‑ The Sudanese political forces are united in rejecting and resisting this dictatorship and invented the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) as a broad umbrella for opposing and resisting NIF regime and embody the legitimate popular confrontation to it.

The NDA inside Sudan defied the NIF regime by: spearheading the struggle against the junta’s suppression and the solidarity in face of oppression, also by exposing and isolating the regime through an expanded continuous and tense campaign till the popular uprising is reached.

The military struggle against the regime was led by the SPLA and continued in alliance with the other forces of the NDA thereby widening the scope of the war and increasing the attrition of the ruling junta in a continuous escalating campaign involving several fronts in order to destroy the regime and defeat it.

The Sudanese opposition, which is the embodiment of the popular legitimacy, managed to isolate the Khartoum regime by the following:

  • An intellectual campaign that invalidated the regime’s Islamicist slogans and dismasked them as subterfuge for the exercise of absolute power, unveiled the human rights abuses and the basic freedom violation committed by the regime which led to its condemnation by the international community.
  • A political campaign that united all non‑NIF political forces and trade unions against the Khartoum regime, and even converted some forces, which were supporting the regime into opposing it.
  • A diplomatic campaign which isolated the regime regionally and internationally and turned it into a pariah.

3‑ Since 1996 the Khartoum regime realised the failure of its political discourse at the same time recognised the effectiveness and the seriousness of its opponents, so it decided to readjust its manoeuvres in three aspects:

  • To gradually withdraw from its jihad policies and focus on seeking peace which ended by signing of the peace from within agreements ‑1997.
  • Dropping the one party totalitarian discourse, and shifting towards a political association rule (Altawali) and a new constitution ‑ 1999.
  • Changed the previously adopted expansionist regional discourse into aspiring positive neighbourliness, using the opportunities offered by the horn of Africa and the Great Lakes wars of 1998.

4‑ The newly spoused flexibility by the regime was not adequately responded to actually what happened were the following:

  • The peace from within agreements failed to end the civil war, actually some factions, which were part of it, abandoned it and even some of them resumed fighting with the regime and between each other.
  • Political Association rule (Altawali) and the new constitution failed to achieve democracy and it was not more than a symbolic pluralism under the umbrella of oppression laws in a police state hostile to human rights and basic freedom.
  • The flexible regional and international discourse scored some success as seen in the sympathy of some European countries with the regime and the mild position of UN human rights commission in its 55th session and the last most advanced position taken by the IMF towards the regime (2.6.99), but still it didn’t gain the regime wide spread acceptability due to the regimes lack of credibility, its double standardness and the contradiction in its international policy between benign and malignant indicators.

5‑ The forces representing the popular legitimacy continued its activities against the regime internally continued remobilization towards the popular uprising and militarily continued the war of attrition against the regime in all four fighting fronts.

6‑ Political and military confrontations, in addition to the regime’s administrative, security, and economic failures all accumulated together leading to massive losses in lives, enormous destruction of infrastructure and total collapse of social order causing unprecedented human disaster in Sudan. The citizens moved from their homelands in areas of fighting to safe places inside the country, others moved outside the country causing a large part of the Sudanese population to live in Diaspora as refugees to survive on other’s charity. The ones who remained in Sudan endure unique sufferings of poverty, social repression, famine and epidemics of diseases.

The Sudanese state abandoned all traditional social welfare duties, to the extent of being unable to provide basic security needs leading to the widespread of unlicensed arms and the flare up of tribal armed conflicts.

The regime’s discourse and policies failure is not debatable any more even amongst the regime’s supporters. The debate now who to blame for these failures?

The different conflicting groups of the regime are casting mutual accusations as for whom to blame for this failure.

The unique humanitarian Sudanese disaster are in their peak, and the regime which claimed to emerge as salvation stands impotent, failure, divided and condemned nationally, regionally, and internationally for its actions.

7‑ The accumulation of the humanitarian tragedy, the impotence and division of the regime made the Sudan vulnerable for fragmentation in the regime encouraged initiatives seeking political resolutions at any cost even some groups inside the regime were tempted to decrease their burden by dismembering the nation.

Currently there are four national and international initiative for political resolution motivated by the humanitarian tragedy to find bilateral and partial settlement that condone fragmentation and seek to legalise it. The international community as represented by the IGAD partners, the NGOs as represented by the big four (Oxfam, Care, MSF, Save the children), the religious entities as represented by the British church leaders and the scientific Christian guardian magazine and others were all fed up with the humanitarian tragedy in Sudan they rushed ‑ Bypassing the Sudanese to address the UN security council to impose peace into the Sudan in its own terms and conditions as happened in other countries were the humanitarian tragedy moved the international community to impose a peaceful formula.

8‑      The political resolution for the Sudanese conflicts was one of the means adopted by the NDA for the realisation of the legitimate aspirations of the people of the Sudan. This principle was stipulated in Asmara declaration of 1995, which states:

” Reaffirms its commitment to a just peace, democracy and unity based on the free will of the people of the Sudan, and to resolving the present conflict by peaceful means through a just and lasting settlement. To this end the NDA endorses the IGAD Declaration of Principles (DOP) as a viable basis for such a just and lasting settlement.” (See the administration and organisation booklet page 26)

9‑ Most of NDA factions inside the Sudan were engaged in a dialogue involving a peaceful resolution.

SPLM was involved in bilateral talks with the regime with mediation of ex. USA president J. Carter in Addis Ababa and Nairobi and also participated in Nigerian mediated several session of negotiation in Abuja.

But all these dialogue were merely (deaf dialogue) because the regime was aiming for winning others opinion and wanted the SPLM to submit to its thesis regarding peace and political settlement. All negotiation failed due to the regime’s intransigence in sticking to its bottom line position, while the opposition which represents the popular legitimacy insisted in a biding by the Sudanese people objectives in the just peace, democracy and the other legitimate objectives.

10‑ Since 1993 the IGAD countries ‑ the Sudan neighbours in the horn of Africa ‑ were involved following a request from Khartoum regime as a mediator in finding a political resolution for the conflict in the Sudan.

The mediations before the IGAD were sterile regardless of the good intention accompanied them. But the IGAD mediation was more effective and brought three new aspects in mediation in resolving the Sudanese conflict literature which were:

  • The concerned countries, the IGAD countries as Geopolitical neighbour countries, which are mutually affected by what happens in the Sudan politically and security wise proposing the DOP as 1994.
  • Put an end for the (deaf dialogue) by DOP 1994. The declaration which stressed the denunciation of war as means of conflict resolution emphasised the plurality of the ethnic cultural and religious Sudanese composition, and stressed the establishment of united Sudan on new and defined basis that grant justice for all its citizens. And in case of failure to realise these principles the declaration calls for granting the oppressed party the right of self‑determination.
  • Legalised the concern of the international community about the peaceful resolution of the Sudanese conflict through participation of the IGAD friends through the formula, which later transformed into the IGAD partners forum.

These three factors which were introduced by the IGAD initiative into the Sudanese conflict resolution literature are important factors that will accompany the political resolution for the Sudanese conflict through all its stages.

Six years full of many new events and developments in the Sudanese national arena, the regional arena and the international arena have passed since the IGAD initiative and its DOP was introduced. These developments call for reviewing the IGAD initiative in five areas:

  • Currently there are other neighbours specially Egypt and Libya, which demonstrated legitimate concern to participate in the Sudanese matter. The Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Amro Mussa officially informed an NDA delegation that the Sudanese Minister of Foreign Affairs asked him to mediate in ending the Sudanese conflict peacefully. The NDA delegation gave its consent to the Egyptian mediation. Colonel Muamar Algazafi laid before several faction of the NDA a similar initiative. This necessitates the widening of the mediation committee to include the IGAD countries plus Egypt and Libya and to be called the IGAD Plus with joint chairmanship (Kenya and Egypt) in consistency with tradition in similar circumstances this means the two countries alternate in chairing the IGAD Plus sessions and divide the follow up duties between them.
  • Its revision to include all different parties of conflict in the Sudan to avoid a bilateral and partial settlement and aim for a comprehensive solution.
  • Improved the text of DOP to be more specific and inclusive define the salient features of the cherished just peace agreement, define the basis of the required democratic pluralistic rule, specify the three choices of referendum, to add adherence to good neighbourliness, mention accountability regarding the past irregularities and to define the functions of the transitional period as stated in NDA memorandum in the 29th of December 1998.
  • Clearly define the role of the IGAD mediators as facilitators and observers of the negotiation and the follow up of a negotiation results after specifying a mechanism for that.
  • There are other African, Arabic and Islamic countries outside the circle of the neighbours of the Sudan, which demonstrated concern in the Sudanese matter. These countries should be allowed to join the IGAD Partners forum.

Undoubtedly the Sudanese regime in starting for a way out for its failures and divisions thinking in what ought to be done for securing the flow of Sudanese oil after investing large sums of money, knowing for sure that securing can not be achieved through security organs but through political accord ending the civil war and bringing about stability. There are some regional developments generated by the horn of Africa and the Great Lakes wars which offered the Sudanese regime the opportunity to normalise its relation with neighbouring countries, but it is conditional normalisation, contingent upon the resolution of the internal Sudanese crisis and conflicts which will impose themselves on border security if left unsolved.

The fundamentalist Islamic currents which reached their peak during the 80’s, during the success of the Islamic revolution in Iran and the defeat of the Soviet troops in Afghanistan in the late 80’s, were accompanied by violent objection movements that flared the enthusiasm of some Islamic currents and their leadership to adopt this fundamentalist approach. These circumstances have now changed to be replaced by moderate orientation embodied in the ideology of the new democratic policy in Iran. The International community moved firmly to politicise human rights issues and resist in a practical manner the human rights abuses linking development to human right respect in an unprecedented manner, the universal conscious moved to try and punish human rights violators beyond the limits of national frontiers, and Africa is witnessing democratic momentum as represented by the civilised behaviour of the leadership in South Africa, and rational behaviour of the leadership of the Nigerian regime.

The political environment inside the Sudan is witnessing an expansion in the expression of the other opinion which was won by the struggle of the opposition rendering the Sudanese regime less aggressive in its confrontation, a phenomenon which tallies with similar regional and international phenomena. These new trends and developments constitute the rationale for the Geneva meeting held in the 1st ‑ 2nd of May 1999, in addition to the mediation of a distinguished Sudanese UN official gentleman who personally took the initiative of bringing the two parties together leading to what has happened.

The meeting was so sudden that it opened wide horizons for whoever has a vision or tendencies to see it the way he thinks.

Yes the Geneva meeting came as a surprise, but:

  • It succeeded in directing the political resolution initiatives towards the terms of reference of the NDA and succeeded in pulling it out of its partial and incomplete framework.
  • It was a beginning of a political dialogue, if the conflicting parties agree to its proposals then they would gather in an all‑party forum for negotiating a political settlement. With these clear conditions, any initiative from genuine parties should be welcomed if it is to help in achieving the objectives of our people and stopping the bloodshed of our sons and daughters.

This is the framework that characterised the NDA declaration inside the Sudan, regarding the positive aspects of the meeting.

Any bilateral meeting leading to the joining of the opposing party into the regime is a mere submission to the regime. Any bilateral meeting leading towards the regime consenting to legitimate demands of the Sudanese people is a credit for our people.

Based on this introduction and in the name of the Umma Party I call upon you to undertake the following:

  • Confirming our commitment to the NDA Asmara declaration resolutions, all parties, and biding by the collective work under the NDA umbrella.
  • Confirming the NDA commitment to all means of liberation until the achievement of the legitimate Sudanese people objectives and the continuity of its collective work to reach them.
  • Confirming the NDA acceptance for the principle of the political dialogue as a prelude for the political resolution of the Sudanese conflicts.
  • Acceptance of the all‑party national conference as a forum for negotiating a political settlement.

If we adopt those resolutions we should admit the following:

First: There are disagreements and structural shortcomings that impeded the NDA system organs outside the Sudan. Its true it will be discussed and decided upon in the second NDA conference, but still we can not freeze the joint activities in the coming period which require taking special measures for collective work in the following spheres:

  • Co-ordination of political works with the NDA inside the Sudan.
  • The joint military activities.
  • The diplomatic activities.
  • The media activities.
  • The humanitarian aid.
  • Securing financial funds.

Second: The political dialogue and its selected mechanism will require our agreement upon the in mechanism of its conduction from our side.

Third: The new developments inside the Sudan and in the region call for a continuous consultation and co-ordination between ourselves and Popular Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ) in Eritrea.

Fourth: There is a necessity for a consensus on a national working paper for controlling and rationalising the political resolution choice. Based on these four realities we suggest the following regulatory procedures:

  • Freezing the current NDA or organisational structure until its thorough consideration and decision in the next NDA general conference.
  • To avoid the disagreements and the structural short coming and to ensure joint teamwork a qualified task force is to be formed from the Leadership Council and the Executive Bureau and according to a political agreement to conduct the joint activities in the following six aspects: Political work, the military, the media, the humanitarian, the diplomatic and the financial. This task force should mandated with a defined program for each area.
  • Formation of a committee representative of all‑NDA forces to be in powered with conducting the political dialogue and represent the whole issues of the NDA inside and outside of the Sudan.
  • Formation of a high joint committee between the NDA and PFDJ in Eritrea for discussing the new events and co-ordinating the stands.
  • If we are to adopt the above mention regulatory procedures then we should discuss and decide upon the national working paper for controlling and rationalising the political solution option.

The National working Paper

Holding an all‑party national Sudanese conference that include all national political parties which is concerned with: ending the civil war, establishing justice, ending the single party system, establishing pluralistic democracy, ending the stagnant regional and international relations with Sudan and establishing positive neighbourliness relation and international co-operation under the umbrella of international legitimacy.

1 ‑ The all‑ party national conference consist of the following:

  • The forces elected for the 1986 Constitutional Assembly which are: Umma, DUP, NIF, The Communist Party, the National Party, and the USAP.
  • The forces, which emerged in the armed struggle: SPLM, SAF, The Beja Congress, The Federal Sudanese Alliance, and the forces, which signed the peace from within agreements.
  • The civil forces which emerged with the opposition: The Democratic Force Front, The General Council of Trade Unions, The Women Democratic Alliance, The Movement of the New Sudanese Forces, The Revolutionary Committees, Both parts of Albaath, and distinguished independent personalities.
  • Conference administration: Qualified Sudanese Character should be selected for the chairmanship.
  • Venue of the conference: The venue shall be a country agreeable to all parties. Since it will hold two basic sessions ‑ as we propose ‑ we suggest the first session to be held in Cairo and the second one in Nairobi or vice-versa.
  • The agenda for the conference: Consideration and adoption of DOP for justice and the comprehensive settlement of the Sudanese conflicts.
  • The conference should have a facilitatory and observation committee formed from the IGAD Plus. And other neighbours of the Sudan should be invited to attend the conference open session.
  • IGAD Partners Countries attend the conference to follow and witness the negotiation and the agreement, with an advisory role of their two participating presidents to the chairman of the IGAD Plus countries.

The New Declaration of principles

The new DOP or the Declaration of principle consists of seven points:

  • The people of Sudan commit themselves to the renunciation of violence and the quest of political settlement and agree to end the tragic current civil war on the following basis:
  • The commitment to the relationship between politics and religion as stipulated in Asmara resolutions 1995.
  • Decentralising the rule in Sudan according to the distribution of authorities as stated in Asmara resolutions 1995.
  • Confirming an agreed upon powers for the SPLM/A during the transitional period.
  • Restructuring of the state institutions to reflect its decentralised nature and the variety of the Sudanese entities.
  • Redistribution of wealth and service in the country with a view to achieve justice.
  • Conducting a referendum at the end of the transitional period to establish the unity of the Sudan on voluntary basis or choosing one of the two other options.
  • The people of the Sudan are committed to establishing a democratic, plural, decentralised system that respects human rights and basic freedom and revises the past ills to cater for non‑production of the crisis and establish sustainable democracy.
  • The people of the Sudan committed to the admission of cultural and religious pluralism and the peaceful coexistence between national groups in accordance with the cultural chapter (proposed).
  • The people of the Sudan are committed to sustainable development which secures investment expansion, building of infrastructure, social services and establishes a mechanism for free market in harmony with social justice.
  • To establish fair basis for comprehensive accountability for all irregularities and abuses committed against the people of the Sudan.
  • The Sudanese people are committed to establishing positive neighbourliness, which takes into consideration mutual security and development interest of their neighbours, and they are committed to the combat of regional and international terrorism and support of the international legitimacy.
  • The Sudanese people form a national transitional government committed to these principles mentioned above and performs the following three functions:
  • Liquidation of the one party state for the cause of the establishment of a national state.
  • Conduct the referendum concerning self‑determination in accordance with Asmara resolutions 1995.
  • Conduct general free and fair election and hand the power to the elected government.

After the agreement on the declaration of principles for just peace and comprehensive settlement the conference elects a steering committee and defines its timeframe and mandate which can appoint a technical organ to carry out the following functions:

  • A proposal of a preparatory procedures which constitutes of the attached details.
  • Proposal of a detailed program for cease‑fire simultaneous with the above mentioned preparatory procedures.
  • Planning a detailed program to realise the principle of a just comprehensive peace agreement.

After finalisation of its work the steering committee reports to the chairman of the conference to call for the second session of the conference with the following agenda:

  • Consideration and adoption of the steering committee proposals.
  • Consideration of the executive program of the new DOP additional Procedures

If the NDA Leadership Council adopts the national working paper then it has to mandate a Summit Committee from within the Leadership Council to do the following:

  • Meet President Arap Moi ‑ in his capacity as the chairman of the IGAD to brief him on the situation and solicit his co-operation and the co-operation of other IGAD members.
  • Meet President Mubarak ‑ in his capacity as the co-chairman of IGAD Plus‑ to brief on the program and to solicit his consent and that of Libya.
  • Meet the two chairmen of the IGAD Partners Forum and brief them on the situation and solicit their co-operation.
  • Hold a press conference to enlighten the public about the stance of the NDA.

After that a selected task force undertake the work of the NDA abroad as proposed, and the other task force for conducting the dialogue and will be accountable to the Leadership Council and the NDA leadership inside the Sudan.

Al‑Sadig Al‑Mahdi

President of Umma Party



  • Nullification of emergency laws in non‑combat areas.
  • Nullification of the exceptional authorities of the general security laws: Capturing people, house searches, detentions, imprisonment, entering places without judiciary warrants.
  • Lifting the tutelage of the law of political association (Altawali) on the political activities.
  • Cancelling the police and courts of the Public Order.
  • The right of free movement ‑ Nullification of black lists.
  • Right of free publication.
  • Release of all political prisoners.
  • Pardoning all convicted in political matters.
  • Giving back all confiscated properties.