June 21, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Opposition alliance of the Sudan Call on Tuesday said the proposed supplemental agreement to the peace roadmap which they handed over to the African mediation has provided for holding a preparatory dialogue meeting and allowing public freedoms.
- NUP deputy chairman, Mariam al-Mahdi (AFP Photo)
Last March, the African Union High Implementation Panel (AUHIP proposed a Roadmap Agreement to the Sudanese government and some opposition groups including the National Umma Party (NUP), Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N), Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), and Sudan Liberation Movement of Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM).
However, only Khartoum government signed the text while the four groups declined the text saying the roadmap would reproduce the regime.
At the end of a three-day meeting held in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, the Sudan Call they will propose a supplemental document to the AUHIP, and would reassess their position from the Roadmap Agreement according to its feedback.
In a press conference in Khartoum on Tuesday, the deputy chairman of NUP Mariam al-Mahdi said the Sudan Call awaits a formal response from the AUHIP chief Thabo Mbeki, expressing hope that the mediation appreciates the demands of the opposition that has been included in the supplemental agreement.
She downplayed the possibility that the government would refuse to sign the supplemental agreement.
However, the chairman of the Sudanese Congress Party (SCoP) Omer al-Digair, who spoke in the press conference, expected that the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) will reject the supplemental agreement and threatened to escalate the peaceful resistance until forcing the regime to accept it.
He pointed that the Sudan Call decided to deal positively with the roadmap and proposed that a supplemental agreement to be part to it following detailed discussions with the US envoy to Sudan and South Sudan Donald Booth.
Al-Digair pointed that supplemental agreement called for holding a pre-dialogue meeting abroad to discuss the procedural matter of the dialogue including its chairmanship and its duration.
According to al-Diagiar the supplemental agreement also called for cancelling or suspending restrictive laws, releasing political prisoners, allowing political and press freedoms, achieving consensus on the outcome of the dialogue and establishing an interim government to carry out this outcome.
“If the conditions contained in the proposed supplemental [agreement] were not met, there would be no dialogue,” he said.
“We want a true and equal dialogue in which all parties are represented not a dialogue that seeks to make others be mere subordinates,” he added.
It is noteworthy that the Sudanese government continued to say that the peace roadmap is definitive and cannot be modified, closing the door on any further discussion with the opposition groups.
SUDAN CALL DIFFERENCES
Meanwhile, the opposition alliance of the National Consensus Front (NCF) has distanced itself from the Addis Ababa meetings, saying the political and armed forces that participated in the meetings represent themselves not the Sudan Call.
In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune Tuesday, NCF’s liaison committee with the Sudan Call said that the NCF is a key member of the Sudan Call and didn’t attend the meetings, pointing the alliance’s meetings and decisions are taken by consensus as agreed upon.
“The NCF has nothing to do with the roadmap or the supplemental agreement that is supposed to be handed over to the AUHIP,” said the statement.
The statement pointed that the participation of the SCoP in the meetings doesn’t represent the NCF, saying they would discuss the whole matter in an extended meeting of the alliance.
However, the SCoP said in a separate statement that its chairman al-Digair, who is a member of the liaison committee, did not attend any meeting of the committee and was not aware of the abovementioned statement.
It added that al-Digair has learnt about the statement from the social media, saying it represent a few parties who exerted every possible effort to prevent the unity of the Sudanese opposition.
The NCF consists of Sudanese Communist Party, SCoP, a faction of the Democratic Unionist Party, some national Arab groups.
Al-Digair acknowledged that differences exist within the Sudan Call, saying the NCF parties are divided in their position towards the Sudan Call.
“Some of the NCF components agree with the Sudan Call moves while others have reservations” he said.
He expressed hope that they would overcome those differences during the coming period, however, “if those refusing the Sudan Call moves stuck to their position then all options would be open”.