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Senior NCP Official says Party Committed to Sudan’s Unity

  • Peter Clottey

Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani (L) welcomes Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir upon his arrival in Doha to sign a peace deal between Khartoum and the Darfur rebel Justice and Equality Movement, 22 Feb 2010

A top official of Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) told VOA President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir’s speech to the National Assembly is a demonstration of the party’s commitment towards maintaining “Sudan’s unity,” as stipulated in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

Professor Ibrahim Ghandour, the NCP’s Secretary for Political Affairs said the party is committed to the full implementation of the CPA despite what he called secessionist rhetoric from senior officials of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).

“The NCP will never give up working for unity to the last moment in spite of the fact that our partners, brothers and sisters from the SPLM, some of them have declared publicly, including (their) commander in chief, President Salva Kiir Mayardit, the president of SPLM, SPLA, that he is a secessionist.”

Recent polls show a majority of south Sudanese will vote for the Sudan's separation in the 9th January referendum
Recent polls show a majority of south Sudanese will vote for the Sudan's separation in the 9th January referendum

Ghandour also said, “The NCP will continue to fight for the unity of the country because it’s a commitment under the CPA and it is a responsibility of every Sudanese.”

President Bashir, in his remarks Tuesday to Sudan’s parliament, said his party is committed to the provisions of the CPA despite the breakdown of talks with the SPLM in Ethiopia mediated by the U.S. special envoy to Sudan, retired Air Force Major General Scott Gration.

Officials of the SPLM have accused their northern partners of lacking the political will to fully implement the provisions of the CPA, including the scheduled January referendum.

They also accused the ruling party of failing to make unity attractive for the last five years ahead of the referendum. But, Ghandour sharply denies the accusations.

“President al-Bashir, in his speech, said that, while we are working for unity, we will accept the outcome of a credible referendum. He also said that, when we signed the CPA, the CPA to us meant unity, but we also know that secession is also a choice. And, this has been said repeatedly by NCP leaders, including the president of NCP, the president of the country President al-Bashir himself.”

Ghandour also said that the SPLM has continued to flout the CPA by openly campaigning for the country’s split.

“Our SPLM colleagues, now feeling that they are getting support from some international players, including the U.S.A., they have always tried to present the NCP as a partner who is not keeping (its) promises. While (the) NCP has always been fulfilling its promises, the SPLM is doing otherwise.”