14 Jul 2020

United Sudan National Party

The USNP was founded in 2002 at the “All Nuba Conference” held in Kauda, Nuba Mountains, when the Sudanese National Party (SNP), the Free Sudan National Party (FSNP), the Sudan National Party-Collective Leadership and the General Union of the Nuba Mountains (GUN) merged. Its origins date back to 1964, the early years after Sudanese independence, when the GUN was formed by Nuba intellectuals. Led by the Episcopal Reverend Philip Abbas Gaboush the GUN won eight seats in the parliamentary elections of 1965, stressing the theme of “Africaness” and the slogan “Nuba Mountains for the Nuba”.

After the socialist May Revolution of 1969 Father Gaboush was forced to leave the country and sentenced to death in absentia for his alleged involvement in an attempted coup. He stayed in exile until 1978 when president Nimeri promoted national reconciliation. After his return, Gaboush and his supporters continued to call for the regionalization of Sudanese politics and the development of the Nuba Mountains. When Nimeri introduced his “September laws” under the label of Sharia in 1983 Gaboush denounced the draconic decrees and emphasized minority rights. In 1984 he and a great number of his fellow activists were arrested on charges of preparing a coup d’etat.

After Nimeri’s downfall in 1985 Gaboush founded a new party, the SNP, which demanded a secular federal system. In the elections of 1986 it won eight seats, seven of them in Southern Kordofan, thus making it the largest party in that region. Gaboush himself won the seat in Haj Yusif, a poor settlement in Khartoum - the first time a regional party and a Christian candidate won a seat in the capital. Despite this success he was denied the position of first deputy speaker of Parliament which prompted strong protests. Hence it upheld its strong opposition to the marginalization of the peripheries and joined with Southern parties to form the Union of Sudan African Parties (USAP) chaired by Gaboush, which advocated the repeal of the "September laws”, a settlement to the war through talks with the SPLM/A and a just distribution of wealth and power for the marginalized peoples.

Following the military takeover of 1989 Gaboush and his supporters continued their opposition activities. The SNP became part of the National Democratic Alliance, an umbrella of groups opposed to the “National Salvation Revolution” of General Omar Al Bashir, yet Gaboush and his newly formed FSNP joined the government in 1996. Six years later, when the ceasefire in the Nuba Mountains came into effect, the four Nuba parties merged into the USNP with Gaboush as its president and Mohamed Hamad Kuwa, Prof. Elamin Hamouda and Yussif Abdalla Jibrill as vice-presidents. The new party called for "Nuba self-determination and an autonomous and representative Government for the Nuba Mountains Region" as well as for the alignment of the Nuba people with the SPLM/A. However, the USNP remained critical of both the SPLM and the ruling NCP. In 2006 Gaboush strongly criticized the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) claiming that the Nuba Mountains’ people had not gained anything from it. He further said: "If the south secedes we will demand self-determination". In 2008 Gaboush passed away at the age of 86. He was succeeded as USNP chairman by Professor Hamouda.

There is no official website.

Information Source: www.electionnaire.org

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