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Sudan’s Bashir renews attack on New Dawn charter, reiterates commitment to Shar’ia

January 13, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir again blasted opposition parties for signing what is known as the "New Dawn" charter saying that it will be combated using the Quran.

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Sudan’s President Omer Hassan al-Bashir (Reuters)

The deal signed last week between most major Sudanese opposition parties and armed rebel movements affirm the common goal of toppling the regime though the signatories disagreed on means to achieve that.

Another contentious clause relates to the relation between the religion and the state which the participants say it seeks to avoid using religion in politics.

However, the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and Sudanese officials insist that the "New Dawn" document seeks to separate religion and the state thus pushing for a secular state.

Bashir, speaking at The Holy Quran award in Khartoum, described the charter as the "False Dawn" and called for its proponents to be confronted.

The NCP spokesperson, Ibrahim Ahmed Ibrahim, on his end said the accord violates religious and national principles. He said that the party’s deputy chairman Nafie Ali Nafie will state the NCP’s formal position at a press conference on Monday.

Ibrahim noted that some of those who signed the charter later came and distanced themselves from it which proves that it was an inappropriate document.

The National Umma Party (NUP), Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) and Popular Congress Party (PCP) have appeared to backtrack from the deal, since it was signed in Kampala.

Reasons for reservations mentioned later ranged from opposing certain clauses to saying that they were rushed into signing it.

The NUP leader and former PM al-Sadiq al-Mahdi downplayed the effectiveness of the charter saying that the only way to unite ranks is through peaceful means and not military ones.

Al-Mahdi’s cousin Mubarak al-Fadil said in a statement yesterday that representatives of the opposition parties knew what they were signing adding that the party leaders were apprised of the final product.

Al-Fadil, who has long been at odds with al-Mahdi, suggested that these opposition parties are seeking excuses to "disown" what they signed.

"I say to the leaders of the parties whose representatives stamped this document with the authorization, consent and full coordination that this document is open for improvement [in line] with resolution of the closing meeting," he said in a statement titled ’The Final Opportunity Document, Background and Secrets’.

"So do not waste time and use these minutiae details to escape from the national responsibility. Our people are dying in the thousands every day and our country is burning and disintegrating not only through the civil war but by Ingaz policies that have brought poverty, hunger and disease," he added.

The Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF), which is comprised of the four main armed movements fighting the government in the country’s west and south, issued a statement yesterday saying that they formed a committee that will be tasked with raising awareness about the charter among opposition parties and civil society, following up on the status of signatories and monitoring the situation pertaining to those detained after signing the agreement in Uganda.

(ST)