October 2, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - The Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn Saturday discussed with the leader of Sudan’s opposition National Umma Party (NUP) Sadiq al-Mahdi ways the ongoing efforts for peaceful settlement in Sudan.
Addis Ababa is the venue of the African Union brokered negotiations for peace in Darfur and the Two Areas. Also, armed and opposition groups of the Sudan Call held in the Ethiopian capital a five-day workshop ahead of a national dialogue preparatory meeting.
In a press statement released on Saturday evening; the NUP said the meeting addressed political developments in the two countries and the region. It added that al-Mahdi expressed his appreciation for the role played by Ethiopia in the continent, particularly in Sudan, as it hosts the Sudanese (parties) in order to reach a peaceful way-out of the Sudanese crisis.
The statement further said that al-Mahdi reviewed the political situation in Sudan after the signing of the Roadmap Agreement and the outcome of the Sudan Call meeting meetings in Addis Ababa.
In August 2015, al-Mahdi signed a political deal with the armed groups in Paris. Later on, the signatories worked to develop the Paris Declaration to the Sudan Call Declaration and formed a large coalition for the political and armed groups and endorsed peaceful negotiations as one of the options to reestablish democracy in Sudan.
The NUP said Desalegn praised al-Mahdi efforts to align the positions of the parties for a strategic vision reflecting the aspirations of the Sudanese in a comprehensive solution.
The Ethiopian prime minister, according to the statement, stressed on the need for coexistence and cooperation to protect and preserve security and stability in the Horn of Africa and the Nile Valley Basin.
The meeting was attended by the NUP’s deputy leader Miriam al-Mahdi and al-Mahdi’s aide Salah Manna.
Ethiopia and Sudan are engaged more and more in joint economic projects particularly on the border areas for the benefit of the people from the two sides.
In the past, Sudan worked for a tripartite regional cooperation including Eritrea but the border conflict between Asmara and Addis Ababa prevents for the time being such realization.
In a separate development, the Spokesperson of SPLM-N Negotiating Delegation, Mubarak Ardol, said a delegation from his movement met with NUP leader on Saturday to discuss ways to enhance relations between different tribal components in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.
"SPLM-N Secretary General, Yasir Arman , SPLA-N Chief of Staff Gagod Mukwar and his deputy Ahmed Alomda met with the al-Mahdi to discuss various issues related to enhancing the Sudan Call alliance and mutual relations between the different tribes in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states," said Ardol.
The meeting further discussed ways to strengthen the social fabric between the local population, and addressing the plots the (ruling) National Congress Party, spawns in order to fragmentize the social fabric and to create differences between the tribes, he added.
The rebel movement, which controls parts of the Blue Nile state and the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan state, stressed they respect and work with all the tribes in the two areas, and have well-established links with the pro-NUP tribes of the Misseriya, Hawazma,d Kenana, Falatah and Ruffaa.