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Al-Mahdi says he made proposals to break deadlock in Sudan’s talks

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NUP leader Sadiq al-Mahdi (C) speaks with SPLM-N leader Malik Agar and its Secretary General Yasir Arman following the signing of the Roadmap Agreement in Addis Ababa on 8 August 2016 (ST photo)

September 12, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - The leader of the opposition National Umma Party (NUP) al-Sadig al-Mahdi on Monday said he put forward a new proposal to break the deadlock in the African Union brokered peace talks in Sudan.

Late in August the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) suspended sine die the two tracks for the humanitarian truce after the failure of the parties to strike a deal over the two matters.

In a speech he delivered from Cairo to mark the Eid al-Dha festival, Sadig al-Mahdi said that signing the Roadmap Agreement by his party and three other armed groups is not a supplement for the National Congress Party-sponsored dialogue process but a move towards a comprehensive dialogue in the country.

"We signed after we made sure that the Roadmap Agreement is not a supplement for the internal dialogue, but it would be inclusive not selective, and it would agree on the agenda of the dialogue inside the country, how to manage it in a way to ensure the integrity and confidence-building measures will precede the comprehensive dialogue inside Sudan," he said.

He added he had submitted to the AUHIP mediators a “Proposed Road for the Roadmap” to end deadlock in peace talks hoping that it would end differences.

"We have consulted with the parties to dialogue. As we did to activate the roadmap agreement we proposed what we called (the way to the road map) and we hope that this initiative will succeed and remove the causes of differences," he said.

The leader of the opposition party stressed that his initiative for a successful humanitarian cessation of hostilities was presented not as facilitator but as thinker to support the AUHIP in its efforts for peace in Sudan.

The signing of the truce and the humanitarian access agreements will pave the way for a "Strategic Meeting" the mediation plans to hold with the participation of the political opposition leaders who are eager to take part in the discussions which are limited for the time being to the government and armed groups.

Last week, an opposition alliance, the Fututre Forces of Changes proposed to synchronize the political negotiations and the security arrangements talks to in order to avoid any adverse impact from one track on the other.

As the mediation plans to resume peace talks during the last week of September, the Sudan Call groups say they intend to meet a week before the negotiations between the government and the armed groups in order to coordinate their positions.

Also, al-Mahdi welcomed a decision by the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) to release prisoners of wars saying the decision is humanitarian and a political victory.

(ST)

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