April 11, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s opposition umbrella Sudan Call Tuesday has rejected a proposal by the African Union chief mediator Thabo Mbeki to meet the National Dialogue High Implementation Committee (HIC), saying the Roadmap Agreement provides that the parties to the dialogue are the Sudanese regime and the Sudan Call.
In a statement on Monday, the African Union High Implementation Panel (AUHIP) said it has proposed that “HIC and the opposition should meet to discuss the implementation of the dialogue outcomes, including the composition of the committee”.
The AUHIP statement came a day after Mbeki concluded a visit to Khartoum where he met with President Omer al-Bashir, the government-led HIC and the opposition forces to discuss ways to implement the Roadmap.
In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune Tuesday, Sudan Call spokesperson Mohamed Farouq said the AUHIP statement “didn’t reflect the spirit of Mbeki’s meeting with the Sudan Call”, saying it only expressed “the desire of the regime to hold a distorted dialogue on the basis of internal dialogue which we had rejected”.
He pointed the meeting of the Sudan Call internal groups including the National Umma Party (NUP) and the Civil Society Initiative (CSI) with Mbeki in Khartoum “was positive and transparent”, saying the meeting underscored the Sudan Call stance which was handed over to the AUHIP after its leadership meeting in Paris.
According to Farouq, Khartoum’s meeting stressed the political solution could only be achieved when the regime commits itself to the implementation of the Roadmap items and on top of it the humanitarian corridors among a bundle of measures to create climate conducive for dialogue including the cessation of hostilities, humanitarian access, release of prisoners and allowing freedoms.
He added the Sudan Call told Mbeki clearly that they refuse to meet with the HIC, saying “the parties to the dialogue according to the Roadmap are the [Khartoum] regime and the Sudan Call”.
The statement stressed that the political solution couldn’t be achieved by maneuvers “to impose a fait accompli” and attempts to inject new life into Khartoum’s dead dialogue, expressing adherence to a genuine dialogue that meets aspirations of the Sudanese to stop the war and establish the democratic state that guarantees justice and peaceful transformation of power.
The Sudan Call further revealed that they agreed with Mbeki to hold an expanded meeting including all alliance’s member parties to discuss ways to implement the Roadmap to be followed by a meeting with the AUHIP to discuss the future of the political process in the country.
The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) Monday issued a similar statement rejecting Mbeki’s call to meet the HIC, saying it will not accept any political process based on the outcome of the internal dialogue.
SUDAN CALL MEETING IN ADDIS ABABA
Meanwhile, spokesperson of the opposition Sudan Congress Party (SCoP) Mohamed Arabi Tuesday told Sudan Tribune that Sudan Call forces will hold a series of meetings in Addis Ababa before to meet the AUHIP.
According to Arabi, the meetings will be held after April the 15 in Addis Ababa due to administrative and logistical reasons, saying they are currently arranging with the AUHIP regarding these meetings.
He pointed the Sudan Call forces will discuss peace tracks in Darfur and the Two Areas besides the internal issues of the alliance, saying they would meet the AUHIP after that immediately.
Arabi stressed the Sudan Call “didn’t agree with Mbeki to meet the government side in Addis Ababa”, saying however they are ready to meet them whenever the necessary conditions were met.
“We are ready because we adopt a strategic not tactical or manoeuvring position towards the dialogue provided that the dialogue constitutes a gateway to peaceful change and democratic transformation,” he said.
The government and Sudan Call signed in March and August 2016 the Roadmap Agreement brokered by the 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.
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 CSI.
Sudan Call internal groups include the SCoP, Sudanese Baath Party (SBP), Center Alliance Party (CAP), Sudanese National Party (SNP) and Sudanese National Alliance (SNA).