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Sudanese government warns against collaboration with rebels

November 15, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - Opposition parties which agreed this week to work with the rebel coalition known as the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF), will face "firm measures", a senior Sudanese official said.

Sudanese presidential assistant Nafie Ali Nafie (Reuters)

In a meeting held on Monday, the leaders of Sudan’s opposition umbrella organization, National Consensus Forces (NCF) decided to set up mechanisms for coordinating with the SRF to topple the regime.

Sudan presidential assistant and deputy chairman of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) Nafie Ali Nafie described this declaration as "dangerous".

In statements to the pro-government Akhbar al-Youm newspaper, Nafie stressed that it is unacceptable for political opposition parties to recognize the manifesto of an armed movement and forge an alliance with the SRF.

The Sudanese official described this step as a possible violation of the Political Parties Act adding that the NCP will deal with this development in every possible way but did not elaborate.

"We know that some of these parties have a link [with SRF] but to come out daringly and declare that they adopt the agenda of the SRF which bears arms for regime change; I think this is a serious matter that should be treated as such," Nafie said.

In a separate issue, Nafie announced that it is all but certain that the NCP Shura [consultative] meeting taking place on Saturday will endorse the party’s recommendations on expelling three figures and suspending nine others.

The NCP official noted that some of the disciplined members have already announced their intention to form a new party which means that their membership will be revoked.

Last month, an NCP commission of inquiry established by Sudan’s president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir who is also the chairman of the NCP recommended the dismissal of his former adviser Ghazi Salah al-Deen al-Attabani along with two other members and suspending nine others.

The punished members were among a larger group that included more than 30 NCP figures which signed on an open petition to president Bashir last September following the government’s decision to cut fuel subsidies that triggered deadly protests across the country.

The signatories including lawmakers and retired army officers called for reinstating the subsidies due to its "harsh" impact on ordinary Sudanese and demanded that the government prosecute those behind the use excessive violence against protestors.

They also urged Bashir to form a mechanism for national reconciliation comprised of various political forces and assign the economic dossier to a professional national economic team.

"The legitimacy of your rule has never been at stake like it is today" they said in their letter to Bashir which was seen as a direct challenge to the president who is now the country’s longest serving leader.

Al-Attabani declared his intention to leave the party and form a new one that would "bring new hope to Sudan".

(ST)