Home | News    Friday 11 July 2014

Bashir chairs 7+7 committee amid opposition boycott

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

July 10, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir chaired the national dialogue committee known as 7+7 that is comprised of opposition parties and pro-government ones to review progress of the process launched earlier this year.

JPEG - 8.5 kb
Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir has called on political parties to participate in national dialogue aimed at stimulating a reform plan announced earlier this year (Photo: Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)

Observers say the momentum for the national dialogue has weakened substantially as a result of the government’s recent crackdown on opposition figures, activists and newspapers. They also cite the insistence of government on holding the April 2015 elections on time contrary to opposition demands.

The National Umma Party (NUP) of al-Sadiq al-Mahdi and Reform Now Party (RNP) led by Bashir’s ex-adviser Ghazi Salah al-Din al-Attabani has both suspended participation in the national dialogue citing government’s backpedalling on removing restrictions on public liberties.

The two parties issued a joint statement on Thursday saying they will not attend the 7+7 summit with Bashir and asserted that the latter sees dialogue as a power sharing allocation process while they view it as a major political procedure that would lead to rebuilding of the national state on national consensus.

Both al-Mahdi and al-Attabani along with head of Just Peace Forum (JPF) al-Tayeb Mustafa, who is Bashir’s maternal uncle, were absent from today’s meeting with the president. A paper owned by Mustafa known as al-Saiha was suspended twice by security apparatus over corruption stories it published and remains under a ban.

The head of the Popular Congress Party (PCP) Hassan al-Turabi, who was until recently Bashir’s top adversary, was present.

The meeting which ended in the early hours of Friday agreed to form a 3+3 committee from government and opposition parties to prepare a roadmap in seven days to present to all participants.

The deputy chairman of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) Ibrahim Ghandour said that the door is still open to rebel groups and other forces that boycotted the dialogue.

The secretary general of the Nasserite Socialist Party (NSP) Mustafa Mahmoud said that those who took part in the summit with Bashir agreed that dialogue is facing serious hurdles that requires immediate work to remove them .

Mahmoud added that opposition parties stressed the need to adopt confident building measures and unleash political and media freedoms and release all political detainees in line with Bashir’s previous pledges.

Bashir on his end affirmed that he will not back away from his promises on liberties calling it a moral and political commitment.

Last January, Bashir called on political parties and armed groups to engage in a national dialogue to discuss four issues, including ending the civil war, allowing political freedoms, fighting against poverty and revitalizing national identity.

He also held a political roundtable in Khartoum last April with the participation of 83 political parties.

The opposition alliance of the National Consensus Forces (NCF) boycotted the political roundtable, saying the government did not respond to its conditions.

The NCF wants the NCP-dominated government to declare a comprehensive one-month ceasefire in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile. In addition it has called for the issuing of a general amnesty, allowing public freedoms and the release of all political detainees.

Bashir at the time 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 said.

But since then, Sudanese authorities arrested the al-Mahdi and the head of the Sudanese Congress Party (SCP) Ibrahim al-Sheikh. It also intensified its censorship of newspapers by either suspension or shutting down the entire media houses.

It also blocked planned events by the RNP and teh Sudanese Congress Party.

The European Union (EU) mission in Sudan yesterday decried the “ongoing detention and condition of opposition party members, youth activists, human rights defenders and journalists in Sudan”.

“We strongly urge the Government of Sudan to guarantee the peaceful exercise of the freedoms of expression, association and assembly,” the statement said.

The EU called on Khartoum “to either initiate legal procedures without delay or release the detained immediately”.

The statement also noted continued obstacles to the activities of civil society and non-profit organizations such as Salmmah Women’s Resource Centre.

“We regret the increasingly shrinking space for rights-based organizations, in particular those promoting women’s rights and youth empowerment. We expect the authorities to ensure that civil society organizations can operate freely, contribute to the development of Sudan and participate actively in the national dialogue announced by President Bashir.".

(ST)

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

Comment on this article


 
 

The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.


Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


Sudan - Colliding interests 2014-09-16 10:04:11 By Mohamed Elshabik September 15, 2014 - Sudan seems to be unconcerned by the current political crisis in the region. Amid a prognosis of full-scale war in South Sudan, unrest in Egypt, chaos in (...)

A pastoral appeal to South Sudanese to reconcile 2014-09-16 09:19:03 By Rev. Bernard Oliya Suwa, PhD September 15, 2014 - The 15th of December 2013 is a date that we South Sudanese are not going to forget any time soon – and so we shouldn't! After the violence (...)

Will South Sudanese journalists be safe from new media bill? 2014-09-14 21:24:16 By Peter Gai Manyuon September 14, 2014 - What will help professional Journalists in the Media bill that was signed on the 9th of September 2014 in Juba? Will government of South Sudan leave (...)


MORE








Latest Press Releases


Sudan Democracy First Group: Art as resistance – art as resilience 2014-09-09 12:34:15 Sudan Democracy First Group Art as Resistance – Art as Resilience September 8, 2014 - To mark the third anniversary of the resumption of civil war in Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains/South Kordofan, (...)

Sudan: Those behind unlawful killings and torture of protesters must be brought to justice 2014-09-03 13:13:43 Amnesty International Sudan: Those behind unlawful killings and torture of protesters must be brought to justice The brutal suppression of protest in Sudan must end, and members of the security (...)

National Dialogue in Sudan: Past experiences and current challenges 2014-08-27 06:18:22 Sudan Democracy First Group (SDFG) Since independence, Sudan has undergone a number of national peace agreements, some of which were observed and honored for short periods, others which were (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2014 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.