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DUP leader, SRF rebels discuss Paris Declaration

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August 23, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), Mohamed Osman al-Mirghani, met in the British capital for the first time with a delegation from the rebel Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF), which briefed him on the Paris Declaration.

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DUP leader Mohamed Osman al-Mirghani (C) poses with SRF deputy chairman al-Tom Hajo and SRF secretary of external affairs Yasir Arman on 22 August 2014 (Photo courtesy of the SRF)

Al-Mirghani, who has been based in London for almost a year, received on Friday a splinter figure of his party and a SRF deputy chairman, al-Tom Hajo, and SPLM-N secretary-general and SRF secretary of external relations Yasir Arman.

The rebel delegation briefed the DUP leader about a political agreement they signed on 8 August with the opposition National Umma Party (NUP). The Paris Declaration calls for a comprehensive process including rebel groups to end war and bring democratic transformation in the country.

“The discussion was marked by frankness and transparency,” said a statement emailed to Sudan Tribune on Saturday. It further added that Merghani’s good relations with many SRF leaders positively impacted this “important meeting”.

“The two sides emphasised on the need to end war, promote peace and reconciliation between the Sudanese,” said the statement. They also “stressed the impossibility of holding elections without national consensus”.

After22 years of opposition, the DUP joined the National Congress Party (NCP)-led government following the secession 2011 saying that Sudan’s unity and territorial integrity is under threat. However, since the bloody protests of September 2013, he has been residing in the British capital.

At the time, Merghani party said they would work with the ruling party to implement a dialogue aiming to achieve a national consensus and to end armed conflicts in Darfur region, Blue Nile and South Kordofan states.

The Paris Declaration calls to unify the position of the political and armed forces before to engage in the national dialogue.

Sudanese president Omer al-Bashir issued last April a series of decrees aiming to ensure political and press freedoms in the country. But security apparatus continues to arrest politicians and activists, and censors newspapers.

The chairman of the Reform Now Movement (RNM), Gahzi Salah al-Deen al-Attabani and a delegation from the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) led by Sideeq Youssef discussed on Saturday the ongoing efforts to hold an inclusive and comprehensive national dialogue process.

The two sides agreed that a “serious dialogue is the best solution to the problems of Sudan”, providing to satisfy core requirements including political freedoms, end of war, release of all political detainees, and the abolition of laws restricting freedoms,” said a joint statement released after the end of the meeting.

They further said that the dialogue should be comprehensive and leads to solution Sudan’s problems and to power sharing

The SRF delegation reaffirmed the importance of continued consultations with the DUP leader to reach a national agreement and achieve just peace.

The signatories of the Paris Declaration vowed to hold a series of political and diplomatic contacts with the Sudanese parties, regional and international community to promote the deal and explain its objectives.

The SRF and NUP calls for a comprehensive process to end war and achieve democratic transition in the Sudan, saying that a comprehensive humanitarian cessation of hostilities should be signed before.

The Sudanese government on the other hand calls for talks with the rebel groups on a last ceasefire agreement before to engage in national dialogue. Also, Khartoum refuses any international mediation in the internal process.

The Sudanese presidential assistant Ibrahim Gandour said they are ready to provide guarantees to ensure rebels’ participation in the national dialogue, if they fail to hold separate talks in Doha and Addis Ababa with the rebels in Darfur and the Two Areas.

(ST)

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