National Democratic Alliance Collection
Total size 1 m.
Consultation Not restricted
The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) was set up clandestinely in Karthoum, Sudan, in October 1989, only three months after the military coup of general Omar al-Bashir which brought the National Islamic Front to power; the NDA, which included all Sudanese oppositional political parties, moved its leadership to Cairo, Egypt, as it was almost impossible to organize any political activities inside Sudan.
Collection consisting of minutes of meetings of the NDA in Cairo and Asmara 1990-2003 and correspondence, conference papers, declarations, publications and other documents; documents of the parties comprising the NDA, including the Umma Party, the Democratic Unionist Party, the Sudanese Peoples' Liberation Army, the Sudan Allied Forces and the Legitimate Command of the Sudanese Army; documents of other Sudanese nongovernmental organizations, both inside Sudan and abroad, in particular on issues of human rights and the defence of political detainees.
List made by Mohammed Abdulhamid in 2004
The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) was founded in October 1989, only a couple of months after the General Omer al-Bashir seized power in Sudan with the help of National Islamic Front (NIF). The first signatories to the NDA charter, drafted underground, were the Umma Party, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and the Communist Party of Sudan (CPS). They were later joined by other parties, trade unions, and independent individuals. By 2002 the following parties and organizations were members of the NDA: 1) the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), 2). the Umma Party (suspended its membership in the NDA in March 2000, though it is committed to the NDA's resolutions and goals), 3) the Sudan People's Liberation Movement and the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLM/SPLA), 4) the Union of Sudan African Parties (USAP), 5) the Communist Party of Sudan (CPS), 6) the General Council of the Trade Unions Federation (GCTUF), 7) the Legitimate Command of the Sudanese Armed Forces (LCSAF), 8) the Beja Congress, 9) the Sudan Allied Forces (SAF), 10) the Federal Democratic Alliance (FDA), 11) the Free Lions Association, 12) the Arab Baath Socialist Party, 13) independent national figures, 14) representatives of the liberated areas, 15) the Sudanese National Party.
The main goal of the NDA was to overthrow the NIF government in Khartoum and reinstall democracy and political pluralism in the Sudan and to reach a peaceful solution for the question of Southern Sudan, based on the equitable distribution of wealth and power, even development, with respect for the cultural and religious diversity of Sudan.
In 1989 and 1990 many of the leaders of Sudanese political parties managed to leave the country, including Mohamed Osman al-Mirgani of the DUP, Mubarak al-Fadil al-Mahdi of the Umma Party, and Izzeddin Ali Amer of the CPS. As refugees they started an intensive and wide ranging campaign against the government in Sudan. Meanwhile a small group of NDA activists initiated a limited and secretive political movement inside Sudan.
During the first half of the 1990s a combination of national and international factors helped the efforts of the NDA to enhance the isolation of the Khartoum Government. Partly it was the fault of the Khartoum government itself, as it intensified the civil war in the south, aiming to eliminate the SPLA militarily, while at the same time exerting a unprecedented brutal suppression of its political opponents in the North. This was exacerbated by the radical foreign policies of the Khartoum government, which supported Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.
The joining of the SPLA of the NDA in 1990 enhanced its activities and moral, and pushed forward its agenda especially in the USA and Western Europe. The efforts of the NDA reached its peak in 1995 after the assassination attempt on the life of the President Mubarak of Egypt in Addis Abba and the launching of the first northern Sudanese armed struggle group of the Sudan Allied Forces (SAF) in 1996.
The military efforts of the NDA started with the formation of the Legitimate Command of the Sudanese Armed Forces (LCSAF), founded by army officers who were dismissed by the government right after the coup d'etat. LCSAF was led by General Fathi Ahmed Ali, the chief of Staff of the Sudanese Army before the coup. But this organisation also experienced splits. In 1996 Brigadier Abdulaziz Khalid broke away from LCSAF and formed his own Sudan Allied Forces (SAF) and started military operations in Eastern Sudan with the help of Eritrea. Three other armed groups or factions were formed by the Umma Party, the DUP and the Beja Congress in 1996. The military efforts of the NDA were later joined by other attempts to form armed factions by the Communist Party and the Free Lions of Rashaida Tribe. Although these armed factions made an impressive show at the beginning in 1996, they failed to achieve any progress due to a lack or resources and a lack of coordination between them, in addition to the fierce competition that existed among the opposition groups.
Politically, the NDA adopted several strategies during its struggle, starting in 1990 by the old strategy of organizing a popular uprising, similar those of 21 October 1964 and 6 April 1985 in Khartoum. However, after being joined by the SPLA and northern fighting factions, the NDA chose to adopt military action in order to bring down the NIF government. But some groups within the NDA continued to consider military actions as a tool to provide protection to bring about a popular uprising in Khartoum and they continued to talk about the Protected Popular Uprising Strategy. At a later stage, especially after the withdrawal of the Umma Party from the NDA and the obvious ineffectiveness of the military actions in Eastern Sudan, a new strategy of a Negotiated Solution was adopted by the NDA. This tactic was followed reluctantly at the beginning, but was generally regarded as the only viable way out.
The most important political achievements of the NDA throughout its struggle were the adoption of many important documents and declarations signed in Asmara, Cairo and Nairobi, which provide a solution to the problems the Sudan is suffering from. For instance, the Declaration of Asmara of 1985 represents the first Sudanese political consensus on some of the most sensitive issues such as the relation between the state and religion, the right of self-determination for Southern Sudan and the marginalized areas. In 2000 the NDA finally entered negotiations with the government as a way to bring about change in Sudan. Many meetings and rounds of talks have been held with the Sudanese government since then without tangible results until mid 2004 when a breakthrough was reached.
The collection was donated to the IISH by the Communist Party of Sudan in 2003. It consists of the resolutions, declarations, policy papers, statements and press releases issued by the NDA from 1989 to 2002. The collection contains also minutes of meetings and resolutions of the NDA leadership internal deliberations, documents on foreign branches and foreign relations, in addition to a remarkable collection of documents on human rights situation in the Sudan.
Every description (inv. no.) consists of 1 cover; exceptions to this rule are mentioned separately. The size of the collection is 1 m. and it is free accessible to researchers.
Conferences and Meetings of the Leadership Council
- Second General Conference of NDA, speeches delivered in the conference. Massawa, Eritrea. Sep. 2000.
- Second General Conference of NDA, reports presented to the conference. Massawa, Eritrea. Sep. 2000.
Reconciliation and Negotiation Initiatives with the Sudan government.
- Various press releases issued by the NDA. 1990-2002.
Proposed laws and arrangements for interim period
Reports on human rights
Documents related to NDA member parties and organizations
Democratic Unionist Party DUP
Sudanese People's Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA)
SPLA- Peace Talks
- Correspondences and documents related to various foreign organizations and personalities. 1987-2002