October 18, 2014 (CAIRO) – The leaders of the National Umma Party (NUP) and the umbrella National Consensus Forces (NCF) on Saturday agreed to speed up the unification of the opposition forces in Sudan.
Al-Sadiq al-Mahdi and Farouk Abu Issa stressed in a joint statement on the need to expedite the unification process of opposition forces for “the liquidation of one-party regime, the establishment of a just and comprehensive peace and full democratic transformation” in Sudan.
Following a two-day meeting in Cairo, Abu Issa and al-Mahdi underscored that these objectives would be achieved through political means: “either productive dialogue or a peaceful popular uprising”.
The NUP and the NCF are not part of the national dialogue process initiated by the Sudanese president in January of this year.
The NUP suspended its participation in May after the arrest of its leader al-Mahdi who criticised the government militias and accused it of committing war crimes and atrocities in Darfur.
The NUP signed a declaration of principles with the rebel alliance of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) in August, calling for the creation of a conducive environment and the inclusion of rebels in the political process.
The NCF parties refused to join the process, instead calling for the implementation of confidence-building measures that would involve rebel groups.
The two opposition leaders said they agreed to complete the construction of a national project to manage the country through a transitional government based on a transitional programme.
They further said that a constitutional conference should be held at the end of the transitional period to reach an agreement on all the country’s issues paving the way for a sustainable democracy in Sudan.
The statement did not elaborate on what the opposition forces are going to coordinate their activities or whether they will forge a new alliance.
The rebel SRF, which has political agreements with the two sides, recently expressed its commitment to narrow the gap between the NCF and NUP in order to endorse a joint negotiating agenda for peace and democracy in Sudan.