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Sudan Tribune

Plural news and views on Sudan

Sudanese opposition party rejects state of emergency in border areas

April 30 April 2012 (KHARTOUM) — The opposition National Umma Party voiced its rejection to the imposition of the state of emergency along the border with South Sudan saying it harms the interests of local tribes.

National Umma Party leader al-Sadiq al-Mahdi (Reuters)
National Umma Party leader al-Sadiq al-Mahdi (Reuters)
Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir last Sunday decreed partially the state of emergency in South Kordofan, White Nile and Sennar, in a bid to establish a trade embargo against South Sudan. Khartoum has already declared the state of emergency in Darfur and Blue Nile.

In a statement issued on Monday, the National Umma Party said that the presidential decision was “wrong” and described it as part of a “plan to blockade” the Republic of South Sudan, recalling that the economy of Sudanese tribes inhabiting the border areas is connected with the southern neighbour.

Masalit and Rizeigat tribes of South Kordofan and South Darfur graze their animals in the South Sudan for eight months, underscored the opposition party. It also reminded the government that the population of these areas used to trade with the people of the new state.

The National Umma Party is traditionally supported by the pastoral tribes of Masalit and Rizeigat located on the border areas in Darfur and Kordofan. The former prime minister and leader of the National Umma Party al-Sadiq al-Mahdi has in the past spoken loudly over their concerns.

The opposition party called on the government to adopt a flexible policy taking into account the interests of the residents of border areas. It further suggested to mix this flexible security system with an “international monitoring to address any abuse.”

The statement on the other hand welcomed the decisions of the African Union Peace and Security Council urging the two countries to resume talks on the outstanding issues within two weeks and to settle their difference in three months.

The largest Sudanese opposition party also called on the international community to investigate the attacks on Heglig.

The National Umma Party, and other Sudanese opposition parties condemned the occupation of Heglig by the South Sudanese army and urged the Khartoum and Juba to reach a negotiated settlement on the pending issues.

The African Union on Monday welcomed Juba’s formal acceptance of its road map issued on 24 April which also asks for a UN Security Council “Chapter 7” endorsement of its plan to end the current disputes between the two Sudans.

The opposition statement scoffed at the contradictory positions of Sudanese officials on the role of the UN Security Council saying they lodged three complaints at the Security Council on the occupation of Heglig and at the same time slam the intervention of the Council in the dispute with South Sudan.

The opposition party also called on the international community to prevent the “proxy war” between the two countries stressing that would fatally lead to an all-out war. The two country’s are accused of supporting rebel groups from both sides.