Over its period of post-Turabi rule the NCP has gone to great ends to present the image of a unified bulwark, monolithic and disciplined. At certain junctures nevertheless the party’s inner rumblings were loud enough to hear, notably in the immediate post-Naivasha period, when high profile figures like Ghazi Salah Eldin, the NCP man who’s signature marks the Machakos protocol, was effectively sidelined to return later at the less ambitious helm of the NCP parliamentary caucus, and again in the aftermath of the ICC ruling against Bashir, when many lost their nerve.
Today while the NCP oversees Sudan’s partition it is tested to survive its own legacy. Commentary has largely focused on the capacity of the South to rule itself independently, a matter it has effectively been exercising over the interim period, while little attention has been paid to the political consequences of partition in the North, foremost within the NCP. The opposition, incapacitated into virtual silence has largely been satisfied with an investment in blame, particularly that the SPLM’s New Sudan unity seems today like another lost political bargain to the fury of SPLM-North cadre, some of which are playing with the idea of forming an alternative political platform under the name of the ‘party of the marginalised’.
|Ali Osman Taha, Sudan's vice president|
In an editorial published last Thursday al-Intibaha chief launched a Soviet style frontal attack against a leading figure he preferred not to name but fervently disqualified as the ‘dove’ of the NCP who has virtually conspired with the Americans to isolate the President in the President’s own abode. Apparently angered by the unnamed leader’s subservience to American demands and conditions Mustafa went on to blame the same figure for the Naivasha “predicament”. Notably, Mustafa identified the anti-Turabi split in the NCP as the “beginning of the catastrophe that currently devours al-Ingaz (NIF/NCP regime)”, a split he said that pitted the Islamists against each other and was orchestrated by the same figure now in charge and his clique. Concluding Mustafa addressed the President to correct the course of affairs and suggested expulsion of the American envoy, Scott Gration, in response to the US decision to renew sanctions.
Any beginner in Sudanese current affairs would easily identify Mustafa’s target. The Naivasha man was never a welcome face on al-Intibaha’s pages. Now it seems his authority is being directly challenged in-house. In Mustafa’s depiction the NCP is to no surprise split between doves and hawks, the line of differentiation apparently being the position towards the US and its Sudan machinations. In his fantasy of a re-invigorated Ingaz Mustafa is flirting with the pre-1999 Turabi to save the day. I reckon though in telecommunication jargon the number he wants to calls is out of service. One number still in service however is SAF! In plain language, Mustafa is signing in to a repeat Ingaz coup.