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January 8, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir Tuesday said he is willing to hand over power to the army in the first comment on a memorandum submitted by his coalition parties in the national dialogue project, but his former deputy Ali Osman completely ruled out the intervention of the army.
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President Omer al-Bashir (file photo)
A group of 22 parties last week submitted a memorandum to President al-Bashir calling him to step down and also called on the army to protect public facilities peaceful demonstrations from those who do not hesitate to kill innocent citizens.
The memo was referring to the historical support of the Sudanese army to the popular uprisings against its rulers as it was the case in October 1964 and April 1985.
Despite the continuation of protests in several provinces, al-Bashir travelled on Tuesday to Atbara to attend a military shooting festival where he denounced those who were not happy with Sudan’s resilience to the economic difficulties.
He went to say they conspired against Sudan and recruited "some agents and traitors" who managed to committed "sabotage on and burning".
"They say they want the army to take over the power. Ok no problem, if a person wearing the khaki (the uniform of the armed forces) comes (to take power) we have no objection. Because the army when it moves it does not move from a vacuum and does not move to support the agents but to support and protect the homeland and its gains," he said.
Al-Bashir’s speech comes also as there are reports about heated debates among the Sudanese Islamists among those who support the president and the others who are not supportive of his participation in the upcoming election in 2020.
Some of these unconfirmed reports alluded to contacts undertaken by some Islamists with the senior army officers urging them to overthrow the embattled president to abort the growing popular uprising.
For his part, Ali Osman Taha, a former first vice-president and a prominent figure in the ruling National Congress Party, fiercely defended the regime of President Omer al-Bashir and warned that the regime has its "shadow brigades" which are ready to scarify their lives for the regime.
In a TV talk show on Sudanese 24 on Tuesday night, Taha said calls for military intervention means "the inability of these groups to reach their goal" adding it also indicates their "lack of faith in democracy and the peaceful transfer of power".
"Whoever thinks that the army will intervene is mistaken, the army will never interfere," he said.
He further said that al-Bashir is being targeted by a campaign to distort his image of a man of compromise in many civilian and military areas "and because he has considerable experience in internal and external affairs."
"I tell people to keep the president at least until the next election," he further said.
On Wednesday, the opposition but also the supporters of President al-Bashir will rally in the Sudanese capital as the government intends to demonstrate its popular support, among reports saying that the civil servants have been asked to participate.