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Sudan Call group says excluded from AUHIP invitation for peace talks

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Leaders and delegates of the Sudan Call forces pose in a collective picture at the end of their meeting outside Paris on November 13 2015 (ST Photo)
January 26, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The opposition Sudan Call forces on Friday said they haven’t received an invitation from the African Union High Implementation Panel (AUHIP) to resume peace talks with the Sudanese government in Addis Ababa on 1 February.

A spokesperson for the Sudanese Congress Party (SCP) Mohamed Hassan Arabi told Sudan Tribune “the head of the AUHIP Thabo Mbeki didn’t invite the Sudan Call forces”.

“We, members of the Sudan Call forces in Khartoum besides the Sudan Revolutionary Forces led by Minni Minnawi and Sudan Revolutionary forces led by Malik Agar haven’t received an invitation,” he said

“ As far as we know, an invitation was extended to the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North led by Abdel-Aziz al-Hilu, and we have also learned from al-Sadiq al-Mahdi that an invitation was extended to the National Umma Party for a consultation meeting ... al-Mahdi told us that he will travel [for the meeting]” added Arabi

He criticised the AUHIP move to not invite the opposition forces, saying the move indicates the practical end of the African Roadmap agreement.

According to Arabi, the African mediation has chosen to side with the Sudanese regime strategy which aims to reach a bilateral agreement to cease hostilities, divide the opposition forces and end the resistance at no cost.

He further denied the SCP chairman Omer al-Digair, who is currently detained by the Sudanese security, has received an invitation to attend the Addis Ababa meeting.

The Sudanese army has been fighting the SPLM-N rebels in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan, also known as the Two Areas since 2011 and a group of armed movements in Darfur since 2003.

The African Union (AU) is brokering peace talks between the Sudanese government and opposition including the armed groups in Darfur and the Two Areas.

The SPLM-N is now divided into two factions: one led by Abdel Aziz al-Hilu and the other led by Malik Agar. The rift emerged several months ago over the right of self-determination and other organisational issues.

The government and the opposition Sudan Call alliance including the SPLM-N 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.

The AUHIP has called the Sudanese government and the SPLM-N led by Abdel Aziz al-Hilu for a new round of talks but excluded the other SPLM-N faction of Malik Agar saying this time talks are on a ceasefire agreement in the Two Areas pointing that the latter has no forces on the ground.

NCF CALLS TO REJECT AUHIP INVITATION

Meanwhile, the opposition umbrella National Consensus Forces (NCF) has urged opposition forces to reject the AUHIP call to resume the peace talks.

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune Friday, the NCF described the AUHIP invitation to resume peace talks as an attempt to “restore and reproduce the regime”.

It called on the opposition forces to reject the invitation and move forward to overthrow the regime, saying the AUHIP move seeks to abort the escalating mass mobilization against the regime.

The NCF added the call to resume the talks was initiated by regional and international powers allied with the regime.

“The top priority of the opposition should be to escalate the resistance to reach the stage of the open-ended general political strike and civil disobedience until overthrowing the regime and establishing the democratic national alternative,” it said

The NCF which gathers mainly centre-left and leftist parties reject to take part in the African Union-brokered process to end the war and achieve democratic reforms. It includes the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP), the Arab Ba’ath Party (ABP), Nasserite Socialist Party (NSP) and the Unified National Unionist Party (UNUP).

The Sudan Call, which is favourable to a negotiated solution, includes the National Umma Party (NUP) and rebel umbrella of Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) factions, and the Civil Society Initiative (CSI).

The NCF was a member of the Sudan Call but pulled out following their rejection of the African Union-mediated Roadmap Agreement which leads to join the national dialogue “without giving needed guarantees to meet and implement the dialogue’s requirements”.

(ST)

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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