Islamic Movements Threaten African Diversity

Islamic Movements Yasir Arman
SPLM-N sec-gen Yasir Arman

AFRICANGLOBE – The secretary general of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N), Yasir Arman, has cautioned against Islamic movements saying they represent a threat to African diversity and called for the political situation in Sudan to be considered in this context.

In written remarks extended to the media Arman described Islamic political groups as “intolerant” emphasising that they ignore cultural and religious diversity, women’s rights, and democratic values.

He further called on “African intellectuals, governments, political and social movements, and civil societies” to seriously consider the Sudanese case and to respond to the growing Islamist groups in Africa.

The Arab Spring brought two Islamist regimes in Tunisia and Egypt and increased their influence in Libya. Other Islamist groups are playing active political role in Somalia, Nigeria, Kenya and Tanzania, he noted; pointing to other clandestine groups in Ethiopia, South African and Malawi.

The rebel figure who is also the secretary for external affairs of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) rebel coalition argued that “Sudan’s diversity represents a small African continent”. But he blamed the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) for “totally” disregarding the plurality of cultures in Sudan and establishing a totalitarian regime.

“To impose such a fascist vision [the Sudanese government] has had to resort to violence and an iron-grip to crush all those who do not fall into their category”, Arman said.

Talking about the connections of the Sudanese Islamists and their network in African countries, he mentioned that many of the cadres and leaders of these movements “were indoctrinated by and graduated from the famous African Islamic University in Khartoum”.

He also underlined the particular relationship between the Iranian and the Sudanese regimes, before to warning against the NCP’s ties with the ruling Islamist party in Egypt.

According to Arman, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood “will have a huge impact on Sudan and Africa as a whole”.

The government of the National Congress Party (NCP) which seized power in a coup d’état in June 1989, is waging war against the Sudan people’s Liberation Movement- North (SPLM-North) in Blue Nile and South Kordofan.

The SPLM-N, which has fought the government since June 2011, calls for a comprehensive process leading to establish a secular and democratic regime in Sudan.

Recently the Sudanese political forces and rebel groups including the SPLM-N, signed a political charter vowing to separate religion and politics but some opposition parties say more talks on this issue are needed.