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Sadiq Al-Mahdi: 5 challenges may lead transitional regime to ‘dead end’

Image of former Sudanese Prime Minister and leader of the National Umma Party, Sadiq Al-Mahdi [Facebook]
Former Sudanese Prime Minister and leader of the National Umma Party, Sadiq Al-Mahdi [Facebook]

Leader of the Sudanese opposition National Umma Party, Sadiq Al-Mahdi, predicted that the transitional regime will face five “serious” challenges that may lead it to a “dead end”, describing the draft of the transitional emergency program of the government of Abdalla Hamdok, as “weak”.

This came in a Khutbah (sermon) of Friday prayer delivered by Al-Mahdi on “the country’s current situation and a promising future” at Alhijra Mosque in the city of Omdurman, a stronghold of his supporters in the capital Khartoum, according to a Anadolu Agency correspondent.

The Sudanese hope that the current transitional phase will contribute to achieving peace in the country, after the army leadership ousted Omar Al-Bashir from the presidency (1989 – 2019) on 4 April, under the pressure of popular protests condemning the deterioration of the country’s economic conditions.

The 39-month long transitional phase has commenced on 21 August and will end with elections, during which power is shared between the Military Council and the Forces of Freedom and Change, led by the popular movement.

READ: Sudan Sovereignty Council appoints Chief Justice and Attorney General

“The transitional regime will face five serious challenges,” Al-Mahdi declared during the Khutbah.

He explained that the challenges are “objective obstacles due to the economic situation, as well as subjective hindrances because of the peace maneuvers, opportunistic external interventions, conspiracy plots of the former regime with the aim of political apostasy and the imbalances of the Forces of Freedom and Change.”

“We realise that maneuvers on peace, conspiracy plots of the former regime, opportunistic foreign interventions and subjective difficulties may lead the transitional regime to a dead end,” added Al-Mahdi.

He warned against the exploitation of what he called “the way of thought of some brainwashed groups without popular support, and the mentality of some of the old regime figures of the dead-end, in case it happens, to carry out the coup plot.”

However, Al-Mahdi added “after unjust and unsuccessful experiments, the Sudanese people have become immune to dictatorship.”

READ: Amnesty accuses South Sudan of crippling justice system

“We, and allies for goodness, will face obstruction if the people seek to appeal through free general elections. Providence and awareness of the people, and the international human rights system shall support us,” he announced.

Al-Mahdi is the leader of the opposition National Umma Party and the head of Ansar, the country’s largest religious community.

Last month, Al-Mahdi resigned as head of the Nidaa Sudan Alliance, one of the most prominent parties of the Forces of Freedom and Change, leader of the popular movement.

The leader of the Umma Party considered the draft ambulatory transitional program being prepared by the Forces of Freedom and Change committee as “weak”, despite the positive information in some of its axes.

He pointed out that the Coordination Council of the Umma Party formed a committee to contribute to issuing a favourable program.

Prime Minister Hamdok stated on Sunday that he had met with the Central Council for the Forces for Change, and asked for an ambulatory and a policy program for the transitional phase, but received no response.

The spokesman for the Forces of Freedom and Change, Wajdi Saleh, announced that the hand-over of the program to the government will be delayed, while a group of experts have been making updates and modifying provisions.

“We have presented a matrix for the success of the transitional regime, which is an analysis of all the issues facing it,” explained Al-Mahdi, stressing the major goals he will be working to achieve.

Those goals include “working to put an end to identifying Sudan as a sponsor of terrorism, exempting foreign debt (over $45 billion) and include Sudan in the International Criminal Court,” he announced.

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