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Sudanese presidential aide says New Sudan project “over for good”

July 3, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s presidential assistant Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid said the New Sudan project is “over for good” saying the country has “surpassed the era of conflict, war and destruction”.

Sudanese Presidential aide Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid speaks to the press on 6 April, 2017 (Anadolu Agency photo)

The New Sudan is an intellectual vision introduced by the late Dr. John Garang de Mabior, leader of South Sudan’s resistance movement, Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in the 1980s.

According to Garang, the New Sudan slogan seeks to change the policies of the centre in Khartoum and to build a new centre for the benefit of all Sudanese people regardless of their religion, gender or ethnicity background.

Following South Sudan’s secession, the New Sudan vision was adopted by the northern faction of the SPLM that inherited the legacy of the mother movement and continued to call for the need to establish a new secular state for all Sudanese.

However, the northern faction, SPLM-N has recently witnessed deep internal divisions among its leadership with each side claiming to stick to the New Sudan vision.

In a speech before the Youth Secretariat of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) Monday, Hamid said Sudan is now witnessing a new era characterized by tolerance and dialogue, saying the country has overcome wars and conflicts.

He added “we are witnessing the death of one of the projects that has long distracted us from establishing the national project and that is the New Sudan project”.

The presidential aide pointed that the “proponents of New Sudan project have relinquished their cause”, saying the political arena is now open to launch the national project that doesn’t exclude anyone and respects aspirations of all Sudanese.

He further pointed to the political reform programme , saying “we can’t have a democratic system and a peaceful transfer of power if the political parties are not democratic”.

Since January 2014, Sudan’s President Omer al-Bashir has been leading a national dialogue process whose stated aims are to resolve the armed conflicts, achieve political freedoms, alleviate poverty and the economic crisis, and address the national identity crisis.

Last October, the political forces participating in the national dialogue concluded the process by signing the National Document which includes the general features of a future constitution to be finalised by transitional institutions.

The opposition groups boycotted the process because the government didn’t agree on a humanitarian truce with the armed groups and due to its refusal to implement a number of confidence building measures aiming to create conducive environment in the country before to hold the inclusive dialogue.

(ST)