Stop violence on streets call

September 24, 2014 7:29 AM

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A POLITICAL leader last night issued an urgent appeal for all opposition groups to condemn acts of violence.

National Unity Assembly (NUA) chairman Dr Abdullatif Al Mahmood urged his counterparts in the opposition to help bring clashes to an end.

He called on people to unite behind the final report of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, but admitted to having reservations about some of its recommendations.

"All political groups should firstly accept the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry(BICI) report," he said.

"We (the NUA) accept this report and its recommendations in general, despite having some reservations."

He was speaking at a Press conference at NUA's headquarters in Busaiteen, called to elaborate on a recent trip to London, where they attended a discussion about Bahrain at Chatham House.

"The National Unity Assembly accepted the BICI report... (opposition group) Al Wefaq should also accept this and stop violence in roads and villages," he said.

"This (violence) is not acceptable and will not help to reach a political solution."

He argued an escalation of unrest after the BICI report was a clear sign that opposition groups did not accept the report - and wanted to impose their views on the rest of the population.

"This is imposing views and opinions even if people are not in favour of it," he said.

"Sectarianism is what needs to be tackled more than political issues in the present situation.

"The trust is lost among citizens in Bahrain and the GCC because of the actions of Al Wefaq, which is solely responsible for controlling its supporters."

Dr Al Mahmood again poured cold water on speculation that the NUA and Al Wefaq held meetings with His Majesty King Hamad during his visit to UK last week.

Society's legal affairs head Abdulla Hashim said Al Wefaq formed the core of the opposition.

"We would like Al Wefaq to appoint its representative to the National Commission, set up by Bahrain authorities to follow up on the BICI recommendations," he said.

"The National Unity Assembly is also ready to appoint its member to be part of the commission so that all groups reach common ground."

However, he said opposition groups must first play a bigger role in bringing street violence to an end.

On Friday, hundreds of citizens peacefully gathered at Al Fateh Grand Mosque vowing to work for national unity and combat political strife.

The leaderless group calling itself Sahwat Al Fateh ( Awakening of Al Fateh) supporters is set to continue with weekly Friday gatherings.

Dr Al Mahmood denied this showed cracks were appearing at the NUA, which gained prominence for holding rallies that attracted tens of thousands not aligned with the protest movement at the mosque.

"There are young people who are more active and we welcome such groups as they share the same views as us," he said.

Furthermore he claimed there were former supporters of Al Wefaq who did not believe in its work and were walking away.

Reaffirming that NUA was working for the national cause, Dr Al Mahmood revealed it conducted a meeting last month with members from Al Asala Islamic Sociey and Al Menbar Islamic Society to discuss "unified visions."

He also stressed that the government should be given a chance to study and work on the BICI recommendations rather than be judged during the progress of work.


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