Sudan’s National Assembly has decided to suspend its sessions next week in order to enable lawmakers to head to their constituencies and lead a mobilisation campaign in support of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) in its ongoing battle with rebel groups which have stepped up their military activities in recent months.
The national assembly speaker, Ahmed Ibrahim al-Tahir directed MPs to go to their states and meet with the local governments in order to mobilise youth to support SAF.
"We want people to defend themselves and offer self-sacrifice” al-Tahir said.
He further asked MPs to implore upon their communities to increase humanitarian aid to those affected by the military conflict to eradicate the need for foreign aid.
"We want people to increase aid to displaced people; we are able to extend a helping hand to those affected" the speaker said.
In a rare attack last month, Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) rebels swept through the city of Um Rawaba in North Kordofan, before withdrawing later in the day.
Fighting between the rebels and SAF has previously been mainly limited to Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states bordering South Sudan, which seceded from Sudan in 2011.
North Kordofan, the region that includes Um Rawaba and forms part of Sudan’s commercial heartland, is a hub for the country’s agriculture, livestock and gum Arabic industries.
Diplomats and analysts speaking to Reuters said the raid on North Kordofan’s second largest city appeared to be a bid to stretch Sudan’s army across an ever-changing line of battle in Sudan’s savannahs and scrublands, rather than an attempted land grab.
On Tuesday, Sudan’s presidential assistant and National Congress Party (NCP) deputy-chairman for the party’s affairs, Nafie Ali Nafie, threatened to mount a decisive battle against the rebels whom he described as traitors.
SAF now has it eyes on reclaiming Abu-Kershola district in South Kordofan which was overran by rebels during last month’s assault.
Officials in Khartoum say that they have completely surrounded the area and pledged not to stop until they recapture Kauda which is the stronghold of the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) in South Kordofan.
SPEAKER BASHES REPORTERS
In a separate issue, reporters covering the parliament rejected accusations from al-Tahir that they are not seeking truth but serving personal agenda through attacking the legislative body and MPs.
On Wednesday, the speaker mocked reporters and described them as “junior reporters”, urging them to commit themselves to high moral and ethical standards.
The parliamentary reporters association, for its part, is planning to submit a memorandum to the speaker protesting the manner in which he addressed them.
The speaker, who was reportedly infuriated by an article criticising the work of the parliament and MPs published in a daily newspaper, said that the national assembly would monitor press for the purpose of correcting its course.