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Sudan’s ruling party accuses troika of backing rebel groups

June 23, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) has accused the troika group comprised of Norway, United Kingdom and the United States of being biased in favour of rebel groups.

Mustafa Osman Ismail

The NCP political secretary, Mustafa Osman Ismail, said the troika contradicts itself when it speaks of supporting the national dialogue while taking the side of the armed movements.

He criticized stances of some western countries, saying they seek to sabotage dialogue among Sudanese political forces.

Ismail, according to the government-sponsored Sudan Media Center (SMC) website, said that the troika’s recent statement adopts the rebels’ positions.

He called on the West to be part of the solution and not the problem.

“I’m convinced that the national dialogue is facing difficulties and part of those difficulties is the intransigence of the armed groups and leftist political parties”, he said.

The troika in a statement released on 10 June expressed regret that Khartoum took actions of late that have enabled some to raise doubts about the sincerity of its call for national dialogue initiative.

“Most notably, the government continues to wage a war and target civilians in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile and bears primary responsibility for intensifying the conflict in Darfur, where some 300,000 have been displaced this year ... Similarly, the government’s restriction and increased repression of individual, political, and press freedoms limits the space necessary for a successful national dialogue; such a process will”, the statement reads.

The rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) had adopted the troika statement and called upon the UN Security Council (UNSC) to oblige Khartoum to commit itself to specific schedules and timelines to resolve the country’s issues.

Ismail noted that the troika should have urged both the government and political parties which refused to participate in the dialogue not to obstruct the process.

“It would have been acceptable if [the statement] had mentioned it in that balanced way, however, the biased positions of the troika prevents it from taking this balanced position”, he added

He further called for adherence to dialogue as the only means for building Sudan’s future, saying dialogue must not be tied to the will of a single party or individual because it is a national scheme which seeks to put an end to foreign interventions in the country’s internal affairs.

The NCP official praised positions of China, African Union (AU), Arab League (AL), and the United Nations in support of the national dialogue.

Last January, Bashir called on political parties and armed groups to engage in a national dialogue to discuss four issues, including ending the civil war, allowing political freedoms, fighting against poverty and revitalising national identity.

He also held a political roundtable in Khartoum last month with the participation of 83 political parties.

The opposition alliance of the National Consensus Forces (NCF) boycotted the political roundtable, saying the government did not respond to its conditions.

Rapprochement between the government and opposition parties which agreed to participate in the dialogue has begun to stumble following detention of the National Umma Party (NUP) chief al-Sadiq al-Mahdi last month.

The NUP and the opposition Reform Now Party (RNP) suspended participation to protest al-Mahdi’s arrest and what they said was a government crackdown on political and media liberties.

(ST)