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Sudan’s dialogue body says national dialogue will commence in January

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December 21, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s national dialogue committee known as 7+7 expected the national dialogue conference will convene in January 2015.

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Sudanese president Omer al-Bashir (C-R) greets supporters while Hassan al-Turabi (L) smiles and Ghazi Salah Al-Deen Attabani stands besides him after his speech calling for national dialogue on 27 January 2014 (Photo: AFP/Ebrahim Hamid)

The committee member from the ruling National Congress Party (NCP), Mustafa Osman Ismail, said in press statements following the committee’s regular meeting on Sunday they requested a meeting with president Omer Hassan al-Bashir to get his permission to launch the national dialogue.

Regarding the meeting with the president Bashir, Ismail said it will be held during this week to determine the date for commencing the general conference.

He expected the dialogue conference will convene in the beginning of next year, adding they hope the rebel groups and opposition forces which boycotted the dialogue will join the process during the course of the conference when they realise its seriousness.

Bashir launched a national dialogue initiative last January in which he urged opposition parties and rebels alike to join the dialogue table to discuss all the pressing issues.

NCP leadership also reiterated its resolve to move forward without the opposition and rebel groups if they persist in their demands and refuse to take part in the internal process.

Ismail disclosed the committee has named 50 national figures to participate in the dialogue along with about 83 government and opposition parties, adding the number of the national figures will be equally divided between the two sides.

He also said they named the heads of the six dialogue subcommittees besides its members and nominees for the general secretariat which will oversee the committee’s conferences and keep minutes of the proceedings of the general conference.

The NCP official pointed the meeting also agreed to name several conciliators to resolve any potential disputes among the dialogue parties.

The African Union High Level-Implementation Panel (AUHIP) plans to resume talks on the cessation of hostilities and security arrangements next month, but observers agree that the two warring parties are far from reaching a compromise over the disputed issues.

Bishara Guma’a, member of the committee from the opposition forces, for his part, stressed they will continue contacts with the opposition parties and rebel groups in order to overcome obstacles and enable them to join the dialogue process.

But the initiative faced serious setback after the refusal of rebel groups and opposition parties to join the dialogue before to create a conducive environment and implement confidence building measures including release of political detainees and respect of political freedoms.

(ST)

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