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Sudan’s Bashir says ready for ceasefire and offers amnesty for rebels

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August 20, 2015 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir on Thursday said he is ready to declare a two-month ceasefire in Blue Nile, South Kordofan states and Darfur region and renewed his offer of amnesty for the rebel who are willing to join the national dialogue.

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Members of the national dialogue general assembly and President Omer al-Bashir attend the third session of the internal process in Khartoum on August 20, 2015 (Photo AFP/Ashraf Shazly)

Al-Bashir who chairs the national dialogue committee aka ,7+7 mechanism, made his offer in a speech before the general assembly of the dialogue process which includes over 83 political parties and 50 national figures.

He told the participants that his call for the national dialogue in January 2014 was motivated by the government’s keenness to achieve peace in Sudan. he further stressed his readiness to provide all the guarantees enabling them to participate in the internal political process and leave the country freely.

The president stressed that they "will not despair" of calling on the holdout opponents inside and outside Sudan to join the process , and repudiate violence as a way to gain power.

"In this regard, we renew our full amnesty for arms bearers who honestly wish to participate in the dialogue. Also (we declare) our readiness for a two-month ceasefire in order to hold the dialogue in a healthy atmosphere and high patriotism," he said

Bashir stressed that there would not open any negotiation after the end of the dialogue process, and asserted that the ruling National Congress Party and the government will adhere to the implementation of whatever agreed by the conference.

The opposition Sudan Call forces including the rebel groups , National Umma Party (NUP) and National Consensus Forces (NCF), say the government is not serious in its search for a genuine peace and democratic reforms.

After the government refusal to attend a pre-dialogue meeting before April elections, they proposed to enhance the mandate of the African Union chief mediator Thabo Mbeki and to hold the peace talks outside the country before to go inside the country for an inclusive conference on the constitutional reforms.

The African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) is expected to meet the rebel groups that participated in the two tracks of negotiations organized last November and the NUP leader to discuss the way forward.

Bashir told the general assembly of the national dialogue he refuses to release imprisoned rebels who participated attacks and killed people.

"To make it clear these (rebels) will not be released," he said.

He is seemingly alluding to the rebel combatants members of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) who attacked Omdurman on 10 May 2008.

The Sudan Call forces call for their release saying it is part of the confidence building measures provided in the African Union roadmap to facilitate the national dialogue, .

(ST)

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