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Sudanese presidency hails opposition decision to sign Roadmap Agreement

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August 1, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese presidency on Monday welcomed the readiness of the opposition Sudan Call groups to sign the African Union brokered Roadmap Agreement saying it is a "wise and rational decision"

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Sudan’s first vice president Bakri Hassan Salih (Photo SUNA)

In a recent meeting held in Paris, the opposition Sudan Call groups agreed to meet the African Union chief mediator Thabo Mbeki to discuss their reservations from the Roadmap Agreement before eventually signing it.

In a speech delivered in Kadugli capital of the troubled South Kordofan Monday, the First Vice President, Bakri Hassan Salih, praised the opposition decision, saying the opposition intention to sign the Roadmap Agreement would pave the way for Sudanese people to meet together and solve their country’s issues.

"We have tried war and we are now in need of tolerance and reconciliation;" he said in a speech to mark the inauguration of Peace, Tourism and Investment Festival in Kadugli.

He further stressed that the national dialogue process would continue "until it reaches goals" and called on rebel groups to join peace process.

The Sudanese opposition groups are expected to meet the chief negotiator within two weeks. After what there would be an inclusive meeting in Addis Ababa to discuss the ceasefire and measures enabling the opposition and rebel leaders to arrive in Khartoum to discuss constitutional reforms including the demands of armed groups.

In a statement released Tuesday, SPLM-N Negotiating Team Spokesperson Mubarak Ardol reiterated that the Sudan Call forces are not concerned by the government controlled national dialogue which will convene a meeting next Saturday

"We are only concerned with the success of Addis Ababa meetings, which should establish an equal dialogue paving the way for a just peace," he said.

Ardol stressed on the need to adhere to a timetable to avoid endless discussions and attempts to manipulate the process by the Sudanese government.

The Vice President stressed that organizing the festival in Kadugli is a clear indicator for the prevailing peace and security after the operations military of Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), and government militias to restore security in the state.

He further said the government unilateral cessation of hostilities was not a result of weakness but a sign to show its strong political will to achieve peace.

“In the past when we visited South Kordofan Dshk machine guns where behind and in front of us, shells were falling in the town to force people to flee their homes, but today I see rainbow colours, celebrations and carnivals thanks to what the Sudanese Armed Forces do,” he said.

On a separate development, the newly appointed state minister for Defence, General Ali Mohamed Salim, has sworn in before President al-Bashir.

Speaking to the media after the ceremony, Salim said that SAF is keen to enhance security in Sudan, pointing that the army works with other security forces to protect the country’s unity and achievements.

Concerning cessation of hostilities, Salim called on rebel groups to join dialogue to stop the bloodshed and achieve stability in the country.

Salim is the former head of SAF military intelligence.

(ST)

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