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
News
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food and drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
Voices
A Siberian Tiger
voices
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

Agile Tester

£28000 - £30000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: An ambitious...

Senior SAP MM Consultant, £50,000 - £60,000, Birmingham

£50000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Senior SAP MM C...

SAP BW BO

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP BW BO - 6 MONTHS - LONDON London (Gr...

HSE Manger - Solar

£40000 - £45000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: HSE Mana...

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried