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Opposition leaders, German officials discuss Sudan’s dialogue process

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SPLM-N chairman Malik Agar, NUP leader Sadiq al-Mahdi and SPLM-N SG Yasir Arman on the right, and German diplomats of African affairs at the Federal Foreign Office meet in Berlin on Friday 4 November 2016 (ST Photo)
November 4, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese opposition leaders held a two-day consultations meeting with German Foreign Ministry officials in Berlin to discuss ways to achieve a comprehensive humanitarian cessation of hostilities and an inclusive national dialogue process in the east African country.

The meeting comes after the failure of direct talks brokered by the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) last August and also after a informal discussions facilitated by the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni last September.

The consultations with the German officials who facilitate the AUHIP activities intervenes after the end of the end of internal National Dialogue Conference last October where the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and its allies endorsed the National Document.

In a statement issued on Friday, the National Umma Party (NUP) leader, Sadiq al-Mahdi and Sudan People’s Liberation Movement -North (SPLM-N) chairman Malik Agar said in a joint statement they briefed officials at the German Federal Foreign Office on the requirements of the cessation of hostilities and the humanitarian access to the civilians in the conflict affected areas.

The opposition leaders who were invited by the German government said they emphasized "the need for all the parties to commit themselves to Roadmap Agreement", and to "renew confidence in the AUHIP" to resume its efforts.

After the end of the internal dialogue conference, the opposition groups condemned the adoption of the final National Document to be implemented during a three-year transitional period. They said this text is a clear breach to the Roadmap agreement which provides to hold an inclusive meeting after the implementation of confidence building measures starting with the humanitarian truce.

The armed and political opposition groups, in turn, proposed to consider this meeting and its outcome as first step in the inclusive process prepared by the African Union mechanism.

In their joint statement, the two opposition leaders further called on the international community "to unit positions in support of peace and democratic transformation in Sudan".

Last October, the American administration called on the Sudanese government to consider the government-led dialogue conference a first phase, and to engage with the opposition for its participation in an inclusive process.

NUP leader plans to return to Khartoum by the end of this year, but he clearly indicated he would not compromise with the government on the signed Roadmap Agreement. He also vowed to mobilize opposition groups for an inclusive dialogue.

(ST)

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