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SPLM-N rejects Mbeki’s call to meet Sudan’s dialogue committee

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SPLM-N leader Malik Agar (Center) with SPLA-N chief of satff Jacod Mekouar (L) and SPLM-N SG Yasir Arman pose for a collective picture in the Nuba Mountains at the end of their meeting (ST Photo)
April 10, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement -North (SPLM-N) Monday has rejected a call by the African Union mediator Thabo Mbeki for a meeting between the opposition Sudan Call forces and the National Dialogue High Implementation Committee (HIC).

The head of the African Union High-Level Implementation Mechanism (AUHIP) concluded Sunday a three-day visit to Sudan where he proposed that the government-led HIC and the holdout Sudan Call forces meet in Addis Ababa to discuss the Roadmap Agreement implementation.

"The Panel has proposed that HIC and the opposition should meet to discuss the implementation of the dialogue outcomes, including the composition of the committee,". further said the AUHIP in a statement released Monday.

In a statement released several hours, the spokesperson of the SPLM-N negotiation team Mubarak Ardol said they are ready to reach a humanitarian agreement that includes a cessation of hostilities. He, however, warned that they would not concede on their demand for a safe humanitarian corridor through Asosa, in Ethiopia, to deliver 20% of the humanitarian assistance.

"The outcome of the (government led) dialogue are rejected because have nothing to do with the Roadmap (Agreement). The SPLM will not accept any political process based on the outcome of the (internal) dialogue. We will not participate in any meeting with the so-called dialogue implementation committee," said Ardol.

"We were not a party to the dialogue and it makes sense that should have no connection to the implementation of its results," he further stressed.

Following a meeting with Mbeki in Khartoum, the leader of the National Umma Party Sadiq al-Mahdi announced that Mbeki would organise a meeting for the Sudan Call forces to discuss the discuss the proposal and determine a joint position over the meeting with dialogue implementation body.

Al-Mahdi further stressed that the implementation of the Roadmap Agreement would pave the way towards the cessation of hostilities and humanitarian access followed by the political process after the implementation of the confidence-building measures.

Ardol said the recent rift within the SPLM-N has no effect on its position towards the peace process. He also asserted that they would not be part of a political process before an agreement on the humanitarian issue.

"We stick to the confidence building measures in order to create a conducive environment, stop the war and to hold an equal dialogue. Otherwise, in its absence, (we propose) to negotiate new transitional arrangements and address the specificities of the armed conflict areas particularly the Two Areas and Darfur".

Following the end of the National Dialogue Conference, the Sudanese government officials said the holdout opposition groups can snow join the implementation process of the outcome of the conference, pointing that its recommendations come in the sense of the opposition demands.

In its statement, the AUHIP said the government stressed the need to stick to the Roadmap Agreement adding that President al-Bashir "reassured the Panel of his commitment to enhancing the inclusivity of the process of implementing the outcomes of the National Dialogue, particularly the adoption of a new Constitution for Sudan".

Also, the statement said he "reassured the Panel of his commitment to enhancing the inclusivity of the process of implementing the outcomes of the National Dialogue, particularly the adoption of a new Constitution for Sudan".

Opposition officials in Khartoum said they were surprised that Mbeki’s statement reflects only the position of the government and disregard their call for an inclusive dialogue process different from what was held last October.

(ST)

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