August 9, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s national dialogue committee known as 7+7, comprised of government parties and opposition ones, have signed a framework agreement on national dialogue a mechanism to implement its outcome, also announcing that the dialogue conference would officially convene in early September.
- Sudan’s national dialogue 7+7 committee (Ashorooq TV)
The ruling National Congress Party’s (NCP) deputy chairman and presidential assistant, Ibrahim Ghandour, declared the kickoff of dialogue in press statements on Sunday following the meeting.
Ghandour said the committee agreed on the roadmap for holding national dialogue following a period of hard work, describing it as the first step towards achieving national consensus.
Reliable sources within the committee told Sudan Tribune that the parties agreed on a three-month timeframe for conducting the dialogue beginning in September, noting that the agreement allowed political parties to hold internal consultations on issues facing dialogue.
According to the sources, the dialogue conference would discuss several issues including peace, economy, national identity, foreign relations and governance.
Ghandour demanded those who he described as “sceptics and hesitant” internally and abroad to engage in the dialogue in order to provide a model that can be followed by countries which suffer from similar problems.
He denied that political parties participating in the dialogue asked for postponing elections or establishing a transitional government, stressing that they agreed that all issues included in the roadmap will be discussed in the upcoming conference.
The representative of the Alliance of the Peoples’ Working Forces (APWF) in the committee, Ahmed Abu al-Gasim Hashim, said there was consensus on the framework agreement for holding the dialogue conference, noting that they agreed on a mechanism for implementing dialogue’s output.
“An executive mechanism will be set up besides another one, which will be agreed on its formation and duration within the framework of the dialogue”, he added.
Last January, Bashir called on political parties and rebel groups to engage in a national dialogue to discuss ways to bring peace in the country and to discuss constitutional reforms.
The opposition alliance of the National Consensus Forces (NCF), gathering left forces, boycotted the political roundtable, asking the government first to stop war and create a conducive environment for the dialogue.
Opposition forces participating in the dialogue are also raising the same concerns but argue that such matters can be discussed within the national dialogue mechanism.
However, National Umma Party (NUP) leader Sadiq al-Mahdi suspended its participation in the political process after his detention in May.
Mahdi now demands the restoration of political freedoms and inclusion of rebel groups in the political process. However, he calls to exclude the small political formation at this stage and to involve only the “six historical parties”.
On Friday, he signed a joint political declaration with the rebel alliance of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) in Paris whereby they call to unify the political opposition forces over peace and democratic reforms.