4 Aug 2020

Umma Reform and Renewal

The URRP is a split off from the Umma Party and was founded in 2002 under the leadership of Mubarak Al Fadil Al Mahdi, a nephew of Umma chairman Sadiq Al Mahdi and descendant of Mohamed Ahmed Al Mahdi, who led the uprising against the Ottoman colonialists in the late 19th century. Fadil Al Mahdi served in various ministerial positions during the democratic period of 1986-1989. After the military takeover of 1989 he went into exile in London. He was instrumental in creating the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), an umbrella of parties opposed to the “National Salvation Revolution” of General Omar Al Bashir, and became its secretary general. In 1994 he signed the Chukudum agreement that integrated the SPLM into the NDA.

When the Umma Party left the NDA in 1999, Fadil Al Mahdi returned to Khartoum. Three years later he and his supporters formed the URRP and joined the government. Fadil Al Mahdi became assistant president and a number of his fellow URRP activists were appointed to government positions. Deputy chairman Al-Zahawi Ibrahim Malik assumed the office of Information Minister. However, in 2004 Fadil Al Mahdi was ousted because of his criticism of the government’s policy in the Darfur and Eastern Sudan . In 2007 Fadil Al Mahdi, his secretary general Abdel Jalil Basha and other URRP politicians were imprisoned for some months on allegations of a planned coup.

In line with its traditional good relations with the SPLM, Fadil Al Mahdi and the URRP have given “unequivocal support” to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that settled the war in the South. The party promotes a restructuring of the North into five regions in order to establish a more decentralized system of federalism . Regarding the issue of Abiyei , Fadil Al Mahdi advocates “an integrated area with special laws that is not bound by the outcome of the referendum and makes it a free economic zone”. With respect to the question of unity he stated in a recent interview: “I believe our destiny it to remain together even if we split in 2011, we will still come together.”

Official website: http://www.ummaparty.org.sd/

Information Source: www.electionnaire.org

State Information