The release of the senior Sudanese opposition leader Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi opens the door for doubts regarding the initiative for dialogue launched by the Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir last month, Al-Arabi Al-Jadeed website said.
On Sunday, the leader of the opposition National Umma Party (NUP) Al-Mahdi was released from prison, but several senior opposition leaders are still behind bars, including the leader of the Congress Party Ibrahim Al-Sheikh.
In a brief address delivered to his supporters after his release, Al-Mahdi said that he had told the government that he would not take unilateral decisions regarding national issues.
He also said that he would extend a hand to all opposition parties, including armed groups, to find solutions for the country’s crises. “My detention represented a referendum on a united position [for the opposition],” he said, “I will listen to all sides.”
Throughout his remarks, Al-Mahdi appeared as coaxing the opposition, which he severely criticised before his detention.
Al-Arabi Al-Jadeed said it was informed that Al-Mahdi was released based on agreements with the government. This was confirmed by the Committee of National Individuals, which brokered the mediation with the government.
As part of the dialogue between Al-Mahdi and the government, Al-Mahdi pledged to respect the armed Sudanese forces. Al-Mahdi also recognised that he committed a mistake that deserves investigation when he criticised the army.
The member of the Committee of National Individuals Kamel Idris said that he would turn the current crisis with the government to a call for achieving peace in the country. He also said that the committee would continue mediation with the government to release all political prisoners.
Speaking to Al-Arabi Al-Jadeed, the political analyst Abdul Mun’im Abu Idris said that Al-Mahdi would review his position towards the government after his release. He said a large number of members of his party still do not trust the government.
The proof for his opinion, the analyst said, was that these members attempted to cooperate with the armed Popular Movement in the North, an armed opposition party, during Al-Mahdi’s detention.
Meanwhile, Idris said that all the political parties, in addition to Al-Mahdi, would review their positions towards the government. He said this came after the government announced its position regarding elections.