Mubarak al-Mahdi: Sudan Should Distance Itself from Iran, Hamas
The head of the Umma Party, Mubarak al-Fadhel al-Mahdi, said that popular protests and conspiracy inside the regime of ousted president Omar al-Bashir have contributed to the current change in his country.
Underlining the need for Sudan to maintain its relations with the West, the Gulf States and Egypt - for the interest of the Sudanese people – Mahdi said the country should stay away from the Iranian axis and radical movements such as Hamas.
Mubarak al-Fadel led a split within the National Umma Party, headed by his cousin, Sadiq al-Mahdi, the former prime minister, in 2001; he founded a party bearing the same name. He participated twice in the governments of the former regime.
In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, he said: “We disagreed with Bashir because of the constitutional amendments, the election law, and the announcement of his candidacy for the 2020 elections; when protests started in December, we went out to support the revolution against him.”
On differences between the Transitional Military Council and the Forces of Freedom and Change to reach an agreement over the transitional period, Mahdi said the military “does not mind the formation of a civilian government through which the old system is dismantled,” adding that the opposition must accept the armed forces as partners in the change.
He said he believed that the alliance of the Forces of Freedom and Change was “fragile”.
“The longer it takes to reach an agreement with the military council; the more likely it (the coalition) will see disputes and splits within it,” he emphasized.
Asked about the joint African-Ethiopian initiative to resolve the Sudanese crisis, Mahdi said: “The initiative is not bad; it tried to find solutions to the points of contention between the military and the forces of change; but it should have been based on the 2005 interim constitution, which defines the powers and structures and guarantees rights and freedoms.”
Al-Mahdi said the military council should be given the supervision over foreign policy because “it was better able to represent the country and find acceptance at home and abroad.”
He added that the council should also be in charge of Sudan’s security, defense and federal governance, saying: “Reliance on the Constitution is indispensable; and if we do not adhere to it, we will face many problems during the transitional period.”
The head of the Umma party warned that the persisting differences and conflicts would facilitate the return of Islamists to power.
“The old regime is fueling sedition and fighting between military apparatuses so that it can seize power again,” he remarked.
Al-Mahdi went on to say that the transitional phase required a more detailed program to overcome the repercussions of the fall of the regime and strengthen the opposition bloc.
On the external level, Mahdi stressed that Sudan’s foreign policy was on the right track.
He emphasized strong relations with the West, Gulf States and Egypt that serve the interests of the Sudanese people, noting that the country should steer clear of the adventures of the former regime, which had ties with Iran and radical movements, including Hamas.