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Sudanese presidency to reveal dialogue mechanisms in two weeks

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March 4, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese presidency has said the mechanism for holding national dialogue, which was called for by president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir, will be announced within two weeks.

Late January, Bashir delivered a speech in which he announced a four-point plan for reform "to stop the war and bring peace, free political society, fight against poverty and revitalise national identity", calling for political forces to engage in dialogue to agree on the implementation items though he did not specify practical steps to do so.

The presidency affirmed its seriousness in conducting an open national dialogue among all political parties, rebel groups and civil society organisations.

The second vice-president, Hassabo Mohamed Abdel-Rahman, announced in a public meeting in West Darfur state capital city of Al-Geneina on Tuesday that the government will extend its hands to all political forces including rebel groups in order to launch an open national dialogue among all components of the Sudanese society.

Meanwhile, the first vice-president, Bakri Hassan Salih, has underscored importance of achieving national accommodation through implementing the reform plan which was outlined by the president in his speech.

Salih, who met with presidential advisor Abdel-Rahman Al-Mahdi, said the government desperately needs to improve peace and security throughout the country in order to achieve sustainable development and meet aspirations of the Sudanese people.

Al-Mahdi for his part said in press statements that the meeting emphasised the need to develop strong ties with neighbouring countries and the international community in a manner that secures national interest.

He also stressed the need to implement the president’s reform plan in order to unify the internal front, noting the first vice-president’s demand for integrating all efforts exerted to resolve Darfur crisis so as to achieve the desired stability in the region.

The opposition National Umma Party (NUP) led by Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi and the opposition Popular Congress Party (PCP) led by Hassan Al-Turabi are the only opposition parties to announce their acceptance of Bashir’s call for national dialogue.

Sudan’s opposition parties have proposed forming a transitional government and holding a national conference with the participation of rebel groups to discuss a peaceful solution for the conflicts in Darfur region, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile states.

The interim government, in accordance with the opposition platform, would organise general elections once a political agreement on constitutional matters is reached, inaugurating a new democratic regime. But the NCP rejects this proposal, saying opposition parties must simply prepare for the 2015 elections and that rebels should first sign peace accords.

(ST)

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