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Vol 52 No 5

Published 4th March 2011


Democracy heads south

Political tactics or public relations? The announcement of President Omer’s exit points to jitters in the ruling National Congress Party

The prospect of President Omer Hassan Ahmed el Beshir stepping down reflects the ruling National Congress Party’s dilemma over how to tackle growing domestic and regional calls for political change and four months of tough negotiation before Southern Sudan formally secedes. When on 21 February NCP Spokesman Rabie Abdel Aati said that Omer would not contest the next election, he neatly diverted attention from ongoing air strikes in Darfur, and militia attacks in Abyei and by Lieutenant General George Athor Deng’s rebels in Jonglei (AC Vol 52 No 4). The common factor in these attacks is the NCP.

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