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TEXT: SRF road map to comprehensive political settlement in Sudan

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Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF)

Road Map to Comprehensive Political Settlement in Sudan

Preamble:

Cognizant with SRF Kauda Declaration of 2011, Restructuring Program of the State of Sudan of 2012 and the New Dawn Charter of 2013;

Noting all relevant African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) Communiqués and United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions, the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) as the governing, political body of a wide coalition comprising Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), Justice and Equality Movement Sudan (JEM), Sudan Liberation Army/Movement-A/Wahid, Sudan Liberation Army/Movement-MM, Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), Umma National Party (UNP) and the Eastern Front for Liberation and Justice (EFLJ) is encouraged by the statements and communiqués and in response to them, presents the following road map towards an end to the conflicts in Sudan and creation of the conditions necessary for comprehensive national dialogue and constitutional reform.

Sudan is at cross roads and at a critical juncture of its history. Partial peace agreements including the CPA have not only led to the division of the country, but peace remains an elusive dream. Sudan is in flames from its far west (Darfur) to its far south east (Blue Nile). The damage done to the social fabric cannot be repaired under the current system of centralized governance. Human rights violations are rampant. IDPs and refugees number more than six million and the economy is in ruins as a result of mismanagement, corruption, international isolation and crippling sanctions. It is time for all Sudanese stakeholders and their peace loving friends in the region and the international community to make the right move and decisions to save the nation.

While some parts of SRF have armed wings, war has and will never be SRF’s first choice to resolve the conflicts of Sudan. SRF is mindful that the conflicts in Sudan are essentially political and only political settlements can bring lasting and sustainable peace in the country. SRF believes that in order for Sudan to achieve lasting peace and stability a paradigm shift in the Sudanese political thinking is necessary, from the question of who shall govern Sudan to the question of how Sudan shall be governed. Until all the citizens of Sudan are equal before the law in practice as well as in theory, we will remain trapped in the wrong question of who shall govern the country.

The SRF has and will remain committed to a negotiated peaceful settlement that results in real change to the way the country has been governed. Further, in spite of the fact that SRF has, through time and experience, serious reservations that that NCP will come some day to the negotiating table with good faith; and that its new initiative of “National Dialogue” may be merely a tactic to carry the NCP to elections, SRF has decided not to reject it outright. Instead, it has and will show its readiness to retest NCP’s credibility hoping that this attempt will end the war all over the country.

Proposal

SRF considers the following distinctive, simultaneous but converging steps as the most promising path to a peaceful settlement in Sudan:

Creation of conducive environment and confidence building measures for serious National Constitutional Dialogue. The Government of Sudan should immediately:

1- Stop the killing of civilians in the war affected regions and provide them security.
2- Disarm the militias and halt aerial bombardments to create a conducive environment for voluntary return of IDPs and refugees to their original lands and receive their compensations.
The SRF recognizes the importance of a Cessation of Hostilities as an initial step that results in the creation of conditions and space to facilitate the political process. All parties will be required to commit to the following in a phased approach:

1- Unimpeded humanitarian access to all war zones and affected civilians. The parties should formally agree to this in a negotiated Cessation of Hostilities.
2- Lift of state of emergency. The Government of Sudan should implement this in a timely manner following a negotiated Cessation of Hostilities.
3- Immediately release all political detainees and prisoners and exchange prisoners of war. The Government of Sudan should immediately release political prisoners and detainees and the two parties should immediately invite the ICRC to organize the exchange of POWs.
4- Put a halt to hostile media and propaganda. The parties should agree to take these steps immediately following the agreement to and upholding of a negotiated Cessation of Hostilities.
5- Abrogate all laws that temper with the Interim National Constitution of 2005 and violate fundamental freedoms and human rights. The Government of Sudan should take this step immediately.
6- Lift censorship on media and allow free speech and expression and guarantee equal access to the publicly owned media to all political parties and civil society organizations. The Government of Sudan should take this step immediately.
7- Guarantee the right of political parties to communicate with their constituencies in public places. The Government of Sudan should take this step immediately.
8- The Government of Sudan should recognize SRF and lift the ban of the political activities of SRF member organizations upon signing an agreement for Cessation of Hostilities.
9- Include all stakeholders – political parties, civil society organizations, trade unions, students, youth, Women organizations, IDPs and refugees, traditional native leaders ... etc - in the preparatory consultations from the very beginning.
10- Declare acceptance and commitment to the outcomes of the National Constitutional Dialogue including a Transitional National Government. The Government of Sudan should announce this step prior to the beginning of a genuine National Constitutional Dialogue process.
11- SRF in its endeavor to create a conducive environment for a comprehensive peaceful settlement and the National Constitutional Dialogue will:
a- Enhance its cooperation with a reformed UNAMID to protect the civilians and escort relief convoys.
b- Immediately release GoS Prisoners (POW) of War through the ICRC in exchange for its POW with GoS.
c- SRF is ready to offer its maximum cooperation with the mediation to perpetuate the steps necessary for the creation of conducive environment for the National Constitutional Dialogue.
d- After all the above-mentioned confidence building measures have been sufficiently effected, and a conducive environment for the National Constitutional Dialogue has been created, a delegation from SRF will travel to Khartoum with the facilitation of the AUHIP, UNAMID and IGAD to meet political parties (including NCP) and civil society organizations to discuss the National Constitutional Dialogue and peaceful political settlement. SRF will send a formal request to the AUHIP, UNAMID and IGAD in tandem with this proposal.
e- Approach other armed movements or groups to join the process of comprehensive peaceful settlement and National Constitutional Dialogue.

Comprehensive peaceful settlement and National Constitutional Dialogue need to follow two complimentary phases:

A- Negotiations with SRF to settle war related issues and the particularities of the war affected regions. This requires:
1- Unification of peace tracks, mediation and venue and create a robust process with strong regional and international cohesive engagement.
2- Agreement on agenda that addresses war related issues and the particularities of the war affected regions.
B- After creation of a conducive environment for National Constitutional Dialogue, a preparatory conference that will be attended by representatives of all stakeholders including the SRF, shall be convened outside Sudan under the auspices of AUHIP, UNAMID, UNSG Representative to Sudan and South Sudan and IGAD to decide upon the following:
1- Agenda and issues of the National Constitutional Dialogue.
2- Participants
3- Moderators, mediators, facilitators, observers ..etc
4- Organization of the dialogue
5- Decision making procedures
6- Guarantors and implementation mechanisms
7- Venues
8- Time frames
9- Mechanisms for solving war related issues
10- Any other pertinent issues

The National Constitutional Dialogue shall tackle the following non-exhaustive list of issues:

1- Equal citizenship.
2- Fundamental freedoms and human rights.
3- Rule of law and the independence of the judiciary.
4- Religion & state
5- Identity and the management of diversity
6- Federalism and decentralization
7- System of governance
8- Wealth and power sharing mechanisms.
9- Accountability and transitional justice
10- Reform of the security sector and civil service.
11- Reform of foreign policy.
12- Management of the national economy.
13- Voluntary unity.
14- Endorsement of the agreements concluded between the SRF and GoS.

The National Constitutional Dialogue shall end up producing an interim national government tasked at the minimum with the following:

1- Administration of all function of regional and federal government.
2- Provision of security all over the country by implementing security arrangements agreements.
3- Organization of voluntary return of IDPs and refugees to their original lands.
4- Compensation of those who have been negatively affected by the conflicts.
5- Reformation of the security sector.
6- Salvation of the national economy and public sector services.
7- Transitional justice and social reconciliation.
8- Drafting of a permanent constitution.
9- Laying the foundations for a more constructive and healthy foreign policy.
10- Enactment of a new electoral law.
11- Organization of a credible national census.
12- Organization of free, fair and internationally monitored elections.

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