April 9, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir has issued a presidential decree on Wednesday allowing political parties to carry out their activities and hold public meetings and seminars, as well as giving them equal access to state media.
- Sudan’s president Omer Hassan al-Bashir delivers a speech on 27 January 2014 in the capital, Khartoum (Photo: AFP/Ebrahim Hamid)
The move comes within the framework of creating an environment conducive for national dialogue among all political parties.
Bashir announced a series of resolutions at the onset of a political roundtable held on Sunday in Khartoum with the participation of 83 political parties.
He instructed authorities in the states and localities across Sudan to enable political parties to carry out their activities inside and outside their headquarters without restrictions except those dictated by the law.
The Sudanese president also pledged to enhance press freedom so that it can play its role in the success of the national dialogue unconditionally as long they abide by the norms of the profession.
Political detainees who have not been found to be involved in criminal acts will be released, Bashir added.
He also stressed the government’s commitment and willingness to allow rebels to participate in the national dialogue and vowed to give them adequate and appropriate safeguards to attend and depart safely afterwards.
Sudan’s National and Security Services (NISS) released several political activists on Monday, including five members of the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP).
But this week the Reform Now Party (RNP), claimed that NISS officials prevented the party from holding a seminar at the of Omdurman Ahlia University (OAU) despite obtaining prior permission.
NISS later denied its officers were to blame, instead pointing the finger at OAU security guards.
The opposition umbrella organisation of the National Consensus Forces (NCF) boycotted the political roundtable, saying the government did not respond to its conditions for creating an environment conducive for dialogue.
NCF issued a joint statement with rebel umbrella organisation the Sudan Revolutionary Forces (SRF) on Tuesday, demanding a peaceful resolution of Sudan’s crises.
According to the statement, a peaceful solution and constitutional process require creating an atmosphere conducive for dialogue and applying genuine confidence building measures including ending war, addressing humanitarian crisis, annulling all laws restricting freedoms, and moving from war and totalitarianism to peace and democracy.
The statement stressed the need for agreeing on an independent mechanism to administer dialogue among all parties and identifying necessary actions for a serious and productive dialogue, calling for agreement on a clear roadmap which leads to transitional arrangements and an interim government to implement the terms.
It further demanded holding a constitutional conference with the participation of all political and social forces without exclusion in order to arrive at comprehensive solutions for Sudan’s crises and drafting a democratic elections law.