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Al-Mahdi urges Mbeki “to listen to all parties” before to resume Sudan’s peace talks

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AUHIP chief Thabo Mbeki meets opposition NUP leader Sadiq al-Mahdi on June 2, 2016 (Courtesy photo of NUP)

April 5, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The leader of the opposition National Umma Party (NUP) al-Sadig al-Mahdi Wednesday has called on the African Union chief mediator Thabo Mbeki to listen to all parties before to determine the next move of peace talks.

Mbeki is expected to arrive in Khartoum on Thursday to meet with senior government officials and opposition parties to explore ways to resume peace talks between the government and the armed movements.

In a letter sent to Mbeki Wednesday, al-Mahdi said he “became sure after returning to Sudan that the situation is promising despite some negative signs”, pointing “all parties believe there is no alternative to comprehensive peace and full democratic transformation in Sudan”.

He expressed the desire that Mbeki listens to all parties during his visit to Khartoum before determining the next move, saying Sudan Call leadership council looks forward to holding a meeting to respond to Mbeki’s expected initiative.

Al-Mahdi said the Sudan Call meeting in Paris last January determined the necessary moves to implement the Roadmap agreement, adding “spokespersons for the regime announced their intention to fulfil their obligations towards their signing of the Roadmap after slight hesitation”.

The veteran politician further pointed to the internal differences within the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-N), expressing hope that the movement overcomes the crisis soon.

The government and Sudan Call signed in March and August 2016 the Roadmap Agreement brokered by the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) including several steps towards their participation in a national constitutional process inside Sudan.

However, the parties failed to sign a cessation of hostilities and humanitarian agreements that are seen crucial before to move forward in the roadmap implementation process.

Last January, al-Mahdi called on the United Nations to pass a resolution requiring the Sudanese government to implement the confidence-building measures included in the Roadmap.

The Sudan Call, which was established in Addis Ababa on 3 December 2014, includes the NUP and rebel umbrella of Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF), and the Civil Society Initiative (CSI).

Sudan Call internal groups include the Sudanese Congress Party (SCoP), Sudanese Baath Party (SBP), Center Alliance Party (CAP), Sudanese National Party (SNP) and Sudanese National Alliance (SNA).

(ST)

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