The commander in chief of the Sudanese army warned the “dissolved” National Congress Party and the Islamic movement against counting on the army to bring them back to power.
Abdel Fattah al-Burhan on Sunday inspected the Hattab military base in northern Khartoum state wearing a gun belt and flanked by the army chief of staff Mohamed Osman al-Hussein.
The army announced the event in its daily newspaper and invited the media to cover al-Burhan’s first public appearance after the attacks against him by the Islamist groups in Khartoum during a protest held outside the UNITAMS office in Khartoum on October 29.
During his speech, al-Burhan hailed the army’s sacrifices to protect the country and preserve its integrity stressing that the army is a national entity that has no loyalty to any political party.
“Also, we warn those who seek to hide behind the army. We warn these groups, especially the National Congress Party and the Islamic Movement. They have to stay away from the armed forces… (…). The army will not allow any group to return to power through it neither the National Congress nor the Islamic Movement,” he said.
He further alluded to the ongoing consultations with the FFC through the tripartite facilitation mechanism and admitted meeting with “some youth of the patriotic forces”.
Al-Burhan however denounced the continued disputes between the political groups saying that every group sticks to its initiative instead of agreeing with others on one charter.
With regard to the army, he vowed to defend his troops and their interests, stressing that he would not allow anybody to speak about the army or give an opinion on it, in allusion to the security reforms that should be part of the negotiations about the transitional civilian government.
“No one will dismantle the army, nor interfere in its organization, nor harm a soldier or an officer,” before adding these are “basic positions that cannot be compromised” .
In a theatrical gesture, he asserted his readiness to protect these positions and pointed to his arm adding “my gun is loaded with bullets”.
Through his strong messages to the Islamists, and the pro-democracy forces, the army chief intended to reassure his troops that they are stand at the same distance from the political forces.
However, he again addressed another message to the Sudanese Islamists who challenged him a week ago saying they would stop, even by force, any process that would bring the FFC groups back to power.
“We care about the Sudanese people who came out in the revolution. We are working to meet their dreams and ambitions and we will not allow a group to repeat tragedies on them,” he stressed.
“We say to the National Congress that 30 years of power is enough for you. Give people a chance and don’t hope that the army will bring you back again,” he said.
Sudanese reactions to al-Burhan statements on social media were dubitative as many anti-coup people pointed to the emergence of the Islamist leaders and elements in the civil service and political area after the October 25 coup.
For its part, the dissolved NCP issued a statement saying the party leadership held a regular meeting to discuss the political situation in the country.
“The meeting emphasized the party’s role in exercising responsible opposition and working with national forces to protect the country from slipping into chaos”.
The statement stressed that achieving a comprehensive national accord leading to forming a technocratic government is the only way to get the country out of the current political crisis.