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SRF rebels to meet Sudanese opposition parties in Germany: JEM leader

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May 30, 2014 (PARIS) - Rebel groups of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) will meet with opposition parties in Germany next June to discuss ways to develop a common platform on constitutional reforms and the national dialogue process, said the leader of Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), Girbil Ibrahim.

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Gibril Ibrahim (AFP)

"We are seeking to unite the (armed and political) opposition forces on a roadmap the Revolutionary Front proposed (last month). It is not a holy book, but scalable as we are ready to take the opinions of others, to develop it and eventually to have a joint work program," Ibrahim told Sudan Tribune in Paris where he arrived on Friday.

The SRF deputy chairman said the leadership of the rebel alliance will be in Europe to take part in this meeting, stressing that they expect the participation of all the opposition parties including the National Umma Party of Sadiq al-Mahdi and Popular Congress Party (PCP) of Hassan al-Turabi.

Al-Mahdi and al-Turabi accepted to take part in the national dialogue process launched by president Omer al-Bashir last January. But, other political forces mostly from the left, refused the process and suspended the PCP’s membership in the National Consensus Forces (NCF) . The NUP distanced itself from the opposition coalition since last year.

The NUP and PCP " may know secrets that we ignore. So we want to listen to them to learn the reasons that that prompted them to participate in the dialogue, which has no real features," he further said.

Last April the SRF brushed aside Bashir’s call for national dialogue, proposing that Khartoum holds direct talks with the rebel groups to discuss a humanitarian cessation of hostilities and to “settle war-related issues and the particularities of the war affected regions”.

After what, a National Constitutional Dialogue can be held including the opposition parties.

The opposition parties reacted negatively to this roadmap as some fear to reproduce the Comprehensive Peace Agreement negotiated by the ruling National Congress Party and the then rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in 2005. They demand to be involved in the whole process.

Ibrahim pointed out that this process means to discuss matters related to security and post conflict arrangements for Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

He said the purpose of the upcoming meeting is to forge a joint vision between the SRF and the opposition forces in line with the New Dawn charter which was negotiated between the armed and political forces in January 2013.

He ruled out any intention to involve the regime in this encounter at the present stage, stressing they believe that a common ground with the opposition is a necessary step for a successful national dialogue.

This common vision will be “most effective and beneficial for the dialogue with the regime” and will allow “to avoid a dialogue of the deaf”, he said.

When reached by Sudan Tribune different officials from the opposition parties confirmed receiving an invitation from the SRF chairman, Malik Agar to meet them in Germany next June.

Kamal Omer Abdel Salam, PCP political secretary told Sudan Tribune that his party is keen to develop relations with all the components of the rebel alliance in order to achieve peaceful settlement and stability in the country.

But he showed reserve to any attempt to move the national dialogue to outside the country, emphasising that his party believes in the need to hold the national dialogue in Sudan.

Abdel Salam added they are preparing to send a delegation to Germany to explain the position of their party on the national dialogue .

SRF leaders before their meeting with the opposition parties will participate in an annual forum on Sudan to be held in Hermannsburg, Germany gathering Sudanese politicians, foreign diplomats, civil society groups and experts.

(ST)

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