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Sudan Communist Party Chief to Asharq Al-Awsat: We Want to Erase Traces of Islamist Rule

Sudan Communist Party Chief to Asharq Al-Awsat: We Want to Erase Traces of Islamist Rule

Saturday, 18 May, 2019 - 06:00
Sudanese demonstrators chant slogans in front of security forces during a protest in Khartoum. (Reuters)
Khartoum – Aidroos Abdulaziz and Mohammed Amin Yassine
Sudanese Communist Party chief Muhammad Mukhtar al-Khatib blamed the rule of Islamists for the crises that have plagued his country for the past 30 years.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat amid the popular revolt in his country, Khatib said: “We want to erase everything that the Islamists have committed in 30 years.”

“They will not be barred from politics, but they will not be part of the transition arrangements that we are aspiring to achieve to meet the expectations of the revolution, not those whom we defeated.”

He added that Sudan was witnessing a struggle between the forces of revolution and the former regime.

“Everyone is striving to have the upcoming change work in their favor. The revolution is armed by the people. Civil disobedience and political strike are still on the table in order to win the round of negotiations with the transitional military council,” Khatib remarked.

Commenting on this week’s unrest that has taken place during the popular protests, he said: “We blame the military council because it has not worked on removing the agencies of the former regime. It has not arrested a single figure or disbanded any of its militias despite the direct and open threats that have been made by members of the former regime.”

“We therefore, believe that the military council is responsible for the losses of life and the blood that has been shed in recent days. We demand a transparent investigation, which includes the revolution forces, in order to uncover the truth.”

“We do not want to make accusations against the army and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) without clear evidence,” Khatib stressed.

“All fingers point the former regime, which has used all of its strength to stifle the revolt, but it failed. Its only method was to oust the president and bring in forces that are in contact with the former regime,” he added.

The regime is seeking to preserve its gains and hold swift elections in order to once again return to power, he explained.

Developments on the ground reveal that there are elements that want to obstruct the revolution, he noted.

“We believe that the military council is part of the higher security council that was formed by the ousted president, meaning it is part of the old regime. We are therefore relying on the revolution forces to complete their uprising and reach their desired goals,” he added.

The goals, he explained, are the dismantling of the “old state”, which refers to all pending issues since Sudan’s independence in 1956.

“It will not be easy to silence the uprising and it will take its course,” Khatib vowed.

Turning to the shape of the new government, he said that his party wants it to be strictly civilian.

“We are, however, allied with other forces and are committed to what these alliances yield. We also support the formation of a sovereign council that includes military officials. The executive and legislative authorities must be in the hands of the Freedom and Change Forces,” he stressed.

Commenting on claims that the Communist Party was leading the revolt, he said that such statements undermine the revolt.

“The revolution belongs to the people and is the result of a struggle that began in 1989 and in which the Communists and others made major sacrifices,” he continued. “No side can claim that this is their revolution alone. It belongs to the people against injustices that have harmed the country.”

Moreover, he said that the revolution forces are seeking to hold a constitutional conference that includes all the Sudanese people and during which an agreement can be reached on how to govern Sudan.

“This will lead to the survival of democracy in the country and ensure the peaceful rotation of power,” Khatib explained.

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