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Al-Bashir’s call to draft permanent constitution “a farce”: SPLM/N-Agar

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SPLM-N leader Malik Agar and secretary general Yasir Arman in a meeting with the SPLM-N leadership in Nyba Mountains on 25 Marsh 2017 (ST photo)
June 30, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLMN-Agar) led by Malik Agar has criticised statements by President Omer al-Bashir in which he urged the political forces to participate in the drafting of the permanent constitution.

In a speech at the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) headquarters on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr feast on Monday, al-Bashir said the permanent constitution would be drafted in the coming period on the basis of the National Document.

He vowed to launch a broad dialogue on the constitution before to send the draft to the National Assembly for approval, saying the document would then be presented to the Sudanese people in a referendum for final approval.

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Friday, SPLMN-Agar spokesperson Mubarak Ardol said al-Bashir’s call aims primarily to buying time and diverting public attention, pointing the regime seeks to forge the 2020 elections and give al-Bashir another term in office.

He added the 2005 constitution issued under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the NCP government and the SPLM/A has been “torn up” and was replaced by a distorted version representing views of the NCP.

Ardol underscored the SPLMN-Agar wouldn’t respond to al-Bashir’s call to draft the constitution or engage in the government-led dialogue, describing it as “a farce”.

The SPLMN-Agar further called on its political and civil society allies and in particular the Sudan Revolutionary Front, the Sudan Call and the National Consensus Forces to refuse and boycott al-Bashir’s call.

It pointed out that al-Bashir’s call was intended to reach the African mediation and the international community, saying “we would make it very clear to the latter that we aren’t concerned about this call”.

Ardol reiterated the SPLMN-Agar wouldn’t participate in any political talks, saying they are ready to discuss only the humanitarian issues and ways to deliver assistance to the needy population in the Two Areas.

The Sudanese army has been fighting SPLM-N rebels in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan, also known as the Two Areas since 2011.

Talks between the two sides under the auspices of the African Union for a cessation of hostilities and humanitarian access are stalled since last August.

Since January 2014, Sudan’s President Omer al-Bashir has been leading a national dialogue process whose stated aims are to resolve the armed conflicts, achieve political freedoms, alleviate poverty and the economic crisis, and address the national identity crisis.

Last October, the political forces participating in the national dialogue concluded the process by signing the National Document which includes the general features of a future constitution to be finalised by transitional institutions.

The holdout political opposition and armed groups refuse to join the process before to stop the war and create a conducive environment for an inclusive dialogue.

(ST)

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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