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Sudanese opposition tours European capitals in bid for support - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir gestures as he gives an address at the opening of the eighth session of Parliament in Khartoum October 28, 2013.(REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)

Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir gestures as he gives an address at the opening of the eighth session of Parliament in Khartoum October 28, 2013.(REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)

London, Asharq Al-Awsat—The Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF), an alliance of Sudanese opposition forces, called on the international community to put pressure on the Sudanese government to force it to respect human rights and restore democracy at the beginning of a tour of European capitals.

During a stop in Paris, the SRF’s foreign relations chief, Yasser Arman, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the SRF’s leadership had asked for Sudan’s foreign debts not to be cancelled and for the return of human rights monitors to Khartoum. He added that an SRF delegation started intensive meetings in Paris with French Foreign Ministry officials and members of the Green Party on Thursday and Friday.

Arman said: “We informed French officials that the government of Sudan was still committing genocide and not allowing humanitarian aid to reach the areas of conflict, in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile.”

He added that the Green Party promised to put these issues to Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius through their deputies in parliament. He said: “The Revolutionary Front has delivered a clear message that the regime of the National Congress Party (NCP) is a regime of war, and that peace can only be achieved by changing it, and that the Revolutionary Front were forces for peace.”

Arman, who is also the secretary-general of Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM), one of the biggest factions of the Revolutionary Front alliance, said the delegation requested that international creditors not cancel Khartoum’s debts, and to link them to respect for human rights and the restoration of democracy. He added that the most important requirement for economic reform was democratic reform.

Arman claimed that 70 percent of the Sudan’s budget was used in wars and to protect the regime. He called on all forces of change in Sudan to unite under one banner. He said “this is what will expedite the demise of the regime and replace it with a democratic alternative.”

The SRF includes the Sudan Liberation Movement, Justice and Equality Movement, the two main factions of the Sudan Liberation Movement, and other parties. The front is fighting a war in the Kordofan and Blue Nile areas as well as south Kordofan and Darfur.

The head of the SRF, Malik Agar, who led the delegation in Paris, called on the international community to pay attention to the violence in Sudan. He said the atrocities being committed in Sudan were similar to those in Syria and accused President Omar Al-Bashir of exploiting the world’s preoccupation with the events in Syria and Mali to try to destroy the rebels and kill civilians by arbitrary bombardment and a policy of starvation.

Meanwhile, the Sudanese government has dismissed the importance of the European tour by the SRF. Foreign Ministry undersecretary Rahmatullah Othman said his government would “evaluate the tour if any European officials met with the delegation.”