October 17, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - The National Umma Party (NUP) Deputy Chairman Mariam Sadig al-Mahadi on Monday said her party is ready to consider the outcome of the national dialogue under certain conditions.
- NUP deputy president Meriam al-Mahdi (R) and JEM leader Gibril Ibrahim (L) poses with two EU MPs outside the EU parliament in Strasbourg, on 16 July 2014 (ST)
Last week, a national dialogue document, which is expected to be a base for a permanent constitution for Sudan, was signed in Khartoum by the ruling party and allied political forces. However opposition and main rebel groups boycotted the government-led internal dialogue, calling to sign a humanitarian truce and holding a preparatory meeting abroad.
The leading figure of the NUP said in a symposium entitled “The Future of Sudan After the National Dialogue” it was better for the government to accept the African Union Roadmap, which was signed by the opposition group Sudan Call, as it has international guarantees and supported by political parties, which is not the case for the national dialogue.
Last March, Sudanese government signed the Roadmap Agreement alone in Addis Ababa. The opposition umbrella Sudan Call endorsed the document last August.
However, the government rejected the organization of an inclusive national dialogue preparatory meeting in Addis Ababa to discuss the confidence building measures, saying a “strategic meeting” with the participation of the main opposition and rebel groups is enough.
Also; talks between the government and armed groups over the cessation of hostilities and humanitarian access failed to strike a deal on these two issues.
Mariam Sadig al-Mahadi pointed the NUP is ready to consider the national dialogue outcome because it has been agreed upon, stressing that ending war in Sudan must precede the drafting of the constitution and the general elections.
“There is a need to consider the Roadmap, to combat corruption and conduct a comprehensive investigation on claims of using chemical weapons in Darfur,” she added.
In a report released last month, Amnesty International accused the Sudanese government forces of using chemical weapons repeatedly against civilians in Darfur over the past eight months, saying chemical attacks are believed to have killed up to 250 people
Mariam further stressed that dialogue should be comprehensive and must provide a clear vision that leads to positive results, describing the government-led process as “merely waste of time”.
“There is no conducive environment for political activities in Sudan and people are depressed from the current political situation,” she said.
Several holdout opposition leaders called to consider the Khartoum dialogue conference and its outcome as a first phase in a national process followed by another process including the political and armed opposition groups.
Mariam went to say that spending a lot of money , forcing people to gather and putting out a lot of propaganda is useless as there is vital need for change, adding that the public perception must change and Sudan’s external position needs to be improved.
“The national dialogue that saves Sudan did not take place yet, but the road is clear and there is need to continue with the Roadmap,” she stressed pointing that internal national dialogue did not bring any new developments.
She further pointed to the precarious situation in Sudan, saying the country is facing unprecedented greed and challenges.
“National dialogue is not a “chat” but a process that has several conditions,” she said, adding that there is a need to make the environment conducive for dialogue.
The NUP leading figure further pointed to the need to achieve economic and social changes, stressing that change is inevitable but the country could descend into chaos due to anger and disappointment among Sudanese.