November 27, 2011

Al-Mirghani confirms his party will join new government

November 26, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Mohamed Osman al-Mirghani ended months of speculation on his negotiations with the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and confirmed that his party will be part of the new cabinet that is likely to be announced in the coming days.

The head of the opposition party told the London-based al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper that “national responsibility” forced this decision amid stiff opposition from many within the DUP.

Last July South Sudan became the world’s newest country after voting for independence in a January vote, taking with it three-quarters of the former united country’s roughly 500,000 barrels per day of oil production.

Southerners who were part of the government have left their posts and it was expected that a new cabinet would be announced to fill the vacancies. But the NCP has been locked in lengthy negotiations with the DUP and the National Umma Party (NUP) hoping that it can convince them to participate in the cabinet.

Following the NUP’s formal rejection of NCP’s offer, the ruling party focused its efforts on the DUP which also initially expressed staunch opposition to partaking in the government.

Al-Mirghani however cautioned his soon-to-be-partner that the DUP is prepared to pull out of the government anytime should the ruling party renege on their agreement.

The head of the DUP negotiating team with the NCP Ahmed Sa’ad Omer said on Saturday that a formal accord may be signed between the two parties in the coming days.

Al-Mirghani also stressed that national priorities of the DUP has not changed as a result of agreeing to join hands with the NCP. These include the Darfur crisis, military conflicts in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, preserving Sudan’s unity and seeking a form of union with South Sudan.

The DUP chief further called for the resolution of the issue of Abyei with South Sudan internally without foreign intervention as well as finishing border demarcation between the two neighboring states.
He held the NCP-led government responsible for the worsening economic situation particularly as it was assured that the south was planning to secede and as a result would take with it most of the country’s oil wealth.

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