Sudan factions form new alliance as divisions deepen | news

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The ceremony was attended by political parties, the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Mini Minawi and the Justice and Equality Movement led by Gibril Ibrahim.

Several political groups, including former rebel groups, have announced the formation of an alliance outside of Sudan’s main civil bloc as the latest sign of divisions affecting the country’s transition.

The announcement came at a ceremony in Khartoum on Saturday as Sudan was shaken by fragmentation within the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC), an alliance that led protests that dropped President Omar al-Bashir in April 2019.

Since August 2019, a government made up of military generals and civilians from the FFC has led Sudan through a rocky transition marked by economic problems.

Divisions within the FFC have deepened in recent months, and support for Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s interim government has largely waned due to a series of tough economic reforms.

The ceremony on Saturday was attended by political parties as well as the faction of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) led by Mini Minawi and the Movement for Justice and Equality (JEM) led by Gibril Ibrahim.

“We want a unified FFC,” Minawi said during the ceremony.

“We urge those on your side who pretend to be from the FFC to sit down and listen to us,” he added, addressing the chairman of the Sudanese Sovereign Council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the prime minister.

Hamdok did not attend the ceremony on Saturday.

In early September he was at the signing ceremony for an alliance of other factions within the FFC, which also called for unity, and called this a “step in the right direction”.

Neither Minawi nor Ibrahim participated in this signing.

Last October, Minawi’s SLM faction and Ibrahim’s JEM were among the rebel groups that signed a peace agreement with the government to end the longstanding conflict under al-Bashir.

Minawi was named governor of the war-torn Darfur region in western Sudan in May, while Ibrahim was named finance minister last February.

On September 21, the government announced that it would thwart an attempted coup by the military and civilians allegedly linked to al-Bashir’s regime.

The country is grappling with protests from major tribes in Eastern Sudan that oppose the October peace deal.

Protests have also broken out in major cities, including Khartoum, condemning the attempted military coup and calling for civil rule.

Sudanese protesters take part in a demonstration in Khartoum against the country’s military [File: Marwan Ali/AP Photo]


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