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New Darfur group rejects al-Bashir’s call to join Sudan’s constitutional process

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Sudan Liberation Movement Justice leader Taher Hajer (L), SLM Unity leader, Abdallah Yahia (C) and Abu Al Gasim Imam leader of SLM- 2edR after the alliance agreement in July, 2014 (ST)
July 29, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudan Liberation Force Alliance (SLFA), a new rebel group in Darfur, has rejected the Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir call to draft the permanent constitution saying the move could take place only after achieving the comprehensive peace.

Last month, al-Bashir called on the opposition groups to participate in the drafting process of a new constitution before its approval by the Parliament, saying the move would mark the beginning of a new phase of national dialogue.

SLFA spokesperson Salah Hamid al-Wali told Sudan Tribune Saturday that his movement refuses al-Bashir’s call to draft the constitution, saying “al-Bashir is a fugitive from international justice and does not respect the laws or the Constitution”.

He added the Sudanese President “has violated all international conventions and covenants pertaining to human dignity and life that represent the basis upon which constitutions are drafted”.

Al-Wali pointed out that the drafting of the permanent constitution requires a number of moves including to achieve just and comprehensive peace, bringing criminals to justice and the return of IDPs, refugees and immigrants to the country to participate in the process.

He called on the opposition forces and civil society organisations to reject al-Bashir’s call, saying the Constitution wouldn’t reflect the true will of the Sudanese if a consensus wasn’t reached.

The rebel spokesperson stressed that the alliance is not committed to the unilateral declaration of cessation of hostilities.

SLFA was formed earlier this month following the merger of three Darfur armed factions including the Sudan Liberation Movement for Justice of Taher Hajer, Sudan Liberation Movement-Unity of Abdallah Yahia and the Justice and Equality Movement led by Abdallah Bashr Gali (aka Gena).

Hajer has been elected as the chairman of the new coalition, Yahia is the deputy chairman, Mahjoub Ishaq Abdalla is the head of the Central Revolutionary Liberation Council and Gali is the SLFA forces general commander.

The government, two holdout armed groups and the National Umma Party (NUP) in August 2016 signed the African Union brokered the Roadmap Agreement, a framework for a political process to end the war and achieve democratic reforms.

However, after their failure to reach a humanitarian cessation of hostilities agreement, the government endorsed the outcome of an internal dialogue process and called it the ’National Document’. Now It calls the opposition groups to join them in its implementation, while the opposition sticks to the need to implement the Roadmap which Khartoum declines.

(ST)

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