Sudanese opposition predicts armed uprising will topple military junta

The main opposition group claims the Islamic-backed regime could be ousted by next month, writes David Orr

Asmara - Sudan's Islamic fundamentalist government could fall within the next two to three weeks, according to the country's main opposition grouping, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

The overthrow of the Khartoum regime, said the NDA, would be precipitated by an intifada (uprising), accompanied by the mutiny of a large part of the armed forces. The regime of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir may collapse by the middle of next month, they say.

These predictions follow last week's issuing of an NDA ultimatum to the government to step down peacefully. The NDA's members include the two leading opposition parties, the Umma (Nation) Party and the Democratic Unionist Party, as well as the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), which has been fighting the forceful imposition of Islam on the southern part of the country since 1983.

"We plan to ignite a popular uprising in a dozen towns and cities across northern Sudan," said Omar Nureldayem, secretary of the Umma Party and a former finance minister. "We don't expect a government capitulation but we do believe there will be military support for the uprising."

Dissatisfaction has been growing with the military junta of General Bashir, which is inspired by the National Islamic Front (NIF) of the ideologue, Hassan al-Turabi. The costly effects of the war, human- rights abuses and crippling price rises have caused hardship and suffering in the Arab north.

From abroad, there has been mounting criticism of Khartoum, which is accused of sponsoring international terrorism.

In April, the UN imposed diplomatic and travel sanctions on Khartoum for its failure to hand over suspects wanted in connection with last year's attempted assassination of Egypt's President, Hosni Mubarak.

"The time is now ripe for an uprising in Sudan", said Dr Nureldayem who, with other members of the NDA's opposition-in-exile, is based in the Eritrean capital, Asmara. "There will be casualties - perhaps a few thousand people will die. But the intervention of the army would considerably reduce the bloodshed."

Protests against price rises have been brutally suppressed by the government. The NDA predicts that increases in the price of fuel and other commodities will impel large sections of the populace to take to the streets.

"It is our intention that the Khartoum regime be overthrown from inside Sudan," said General Fathi Ali, a former commander of the Sudanese navy and now military head of the NDA based in Asmara.

"We expect the NIF government will try to suppress the planned demonstrations. But more than 90 per cent of the Sudanese army is on our side and there will be a mutiny if the government uses force. The uprising will take several days to build up. Within a week to 10 days we will have secured the overthrow of the regime."

General Ali, a graduate of Camberley army staff college, said he could muster a "small but capable armed force" to advance on Khartoum from the Eritrean border region.

Eritrea broke diplomatic ties with Sudan a year and a half ago, over Khartoum's support of Eritrean Jihad, a small force of exiled Eritreans committed to the overthrow of the secular government of President Issaias Afewerki. Since then Eritrea has provided military training for the Sudanese opposition.

"The Sudanese allied forces can be counted in their hundreds," said a Western diplomat in Asmara. "There are guerrilla bands operating out of a number of bases in Eritrea. Militarily, they're like mosquito bites but psychologically they're very important. The opposition has the potential to seriously harass Khartoum. It has forced the Sudanese army to move resources from southern Sudan and deploy significant units in the north-eastern region."

The Eritreans, who recently celebrated the fifth anniversary of their successful struggle for independence from Ethiopia, are regarded as having produced one of the most capable guerrilla forces in African history.

Eritrea has been unable to dissuade Khartoum from attempts to export Islamic fundamentalism. In recent months there has been an increase in Eritrean Jihad raids into Eritrea from Sudan and the two countries' border region is described as extremely tense.

"We realise there is no possibility of making Khartoum change its mind", said the Eritrean Foreign Minister, Petros Solomon. "It has shown a very clear intention to destroy our government. We have no alternative but to resist and to help the alternative Sudanese political parties press for a change in Khartoum".

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Life and Style
Baroness Lane-Fox warned that large companies such as have become so powerful that governments and regulators are left behind
techTech giants have left governments and regulators behind
News
Keith Fraser says we should give Isis sympathises free flights to join Isis (AFP)
news
Life and Style
'Prison Architect' players decide the fate of inmates
tech
Life and Style
A picture taken on February 11, 2014 at people walking at sunrise on the Trocadero Esplanade, also known as the Parvis des droits de l'homme (Parvis of Human Rights), in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
techGoogle celebrates Paris's iconic landmark, which opened to the public 126 years ago today
News
Cleopatra the tortoise suffers from a painful disease that causes her shell to disintegrate; her new prosthetic one has been custom-made for her using 3D printing technology
newsCleopatra had been suffering from 'pyramiding'
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Coachella and Lollapalooza festivals have both listed the selfie stick devices as “prohibited items”
music
Sport
Nigel Owens was targeted on Twitter because of his sexuality during the Six Nations finale between England and France earlier this month
rugbyReferee Nigel Owens on coming out, and homophobic Twitter abuse
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Web Designer / Front End Developer

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast expanding web managem...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor