Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi Proposes Code of Conduct

Asharq Al-Awsat

The head of the Sudanese Umma Party, Sadiq Al-Mahdi, said he would welcome the members of the Transitional Military Council (TMC) to his party if they decided to practice a political role after abandoning the army.
In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, al-Mahdi did not rule out differences between the TMC and the forces of the Declaration of Freedom and Change over the constitutional rules governing the structures and powers during the transitional period. He proposed signing a code of honor to overcome any potential disputes.
“Sudan is witnessing a very serious historical phase, but it will overcome it. Our position from the outset was to support and participate in the revolution to bring down the regime. The revolution would not have succeeded had it not been for the military council, which was then the security committee of the regime,” he said.
He continued: “Therefore, there must be an understanding between the revolutionary forces that brought about the change and the military force that enabled this change. We realized that there was no way to dictate the revolutionary line without the participation of the military council, and this is what happened.”
Al-Mahdi noted that he strongly supported the African-Ethiopian initiative, which presented a specific plan to overcome the differences between the parties, resume direct negotiations and refrain from escalation and counter-escalation.
He underlined that the initiative has been met with acceptance, adding that he was “very excited” about this mediation.
“We are working to complete the process with more dialogue and we call for national initiatives to help overcome any differences between the military and the forces of change,” he affirmed.
Asked if he believed in true partnership between the two sides, al-Mahdi emphasized that he was optimistic for different reasons.
“Each party knows that it cannot dictate its opinions on the other because it will fail,” he affirmed. “Everyone must realize that the conditions, which had created the former regime, continue to exist, including the economic collapse, the security situation, the presence of armed forces in the resistance, the big gap with the international community and the issue of the International Criminal Court. Unless there is a unified national resolve, these conditions will stifle any attempt to launch a unilateral solution.”
In this regard, the head of the Umma party said he proposed a “code of honor” that would curb any attempt to escalate the situation. He stressed that such code would help the two sides successfully overcome the transitional period.
When asked about the possible points of contention, al-Mahdi listed the establishment of the sovereign council, the members and competencies of the civilian cabinet, the investigations into the attempts to curb the demonstrations and the fight of corruption.
“All of these tasks can create disagreements and tension between the military council and civilian forces,” he remarked, adding that a code of conduct would help the parties overcome such differences.
On the external level, the head of the Umma party said he valued “the positive regional and international position” towards developments in Sudan.
“We welcome and even look forward to the regional and international support to save the economy from the risk of collapsing,” he stated.
Al-Mahdi underlined that he looked forward to a greater role for the international community, including exempting Sudan from foreign debts (which amount to $60 billion) and removing the country from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.
“We also hope that Sudan would not be dragged into axes,” he said.

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