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EU hopes al- Mahdi’s return gives momentum to Sudan peace process

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NUP leader Sadiq al-Mahdi (C) poses with EU countries diplomats in Khartoum on 28 January 2017 (ST Photo)
January 28, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - European Ambassadors to Sudan Saturday expressed hope that the return of opposition leader Sadiq al-Mahdi would positively impact the ongoing efforts to achieve peace in Sudan.

The leader of the National Umma Party (NUP) al-Mahdi who returned to Sudan on 26 January vowed to work for an inclusive process to end war and accomplish democratic reforms in the country.

The opposition leader who sealed an alliance with the armed movements said after his return to the country that all the rebel groups are committed to a negotiated solution and pledged to not resort to violence to overthrow the regime.

Following a meeting with him at the NUP premises in Sudanese capital on Saturday, the European ambassadors including the EU Ambassador Jean-Michel Dumond issued a statement welcoming his return to Sudan after over two years of self-exile in Egypt.

"They expressed the hope that his return will contribute positively and leads to a meaningful dialogue and participation between all the political parties of Sudan," said the statement.

"They encouraged and urged all parties to seize this momentum to speed up engagement on the AUHIP roadmap framework to end the conflicts in Sudan and move towards peace and stability in the region," the EU diplomats stressed.

Different EU countries, particularly, Britain and Germany, are backing in the efforts led by African Union mediation team to sign a humanitarian cessation of hostilities and to hold an inclusive process including the armed groups.

Al-Mahdi, the leader of the largest opposition party, is seen by the international community as key element in this process as he played a crucial role in the signing of the Roadmap Agreement.

They expect that he continues to narrow the gaps between the government and the armed groups to sign the humanitarian truce and create a conducive environment for the inclusive constructional process.

In a speech he delivered last Thursday, he backed the American proposal for a humanitarian deal and suggested that the other demands of the SPLM-N particularly a safe humanitarian corridor through Asosa; Ethiopia be included in the agreement.

(ST)

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