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Al-Mahdi to return to Sudan after opposition meetings

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Al-Mahdi, ridding a horse, waves hands to his supporters after his arrival to Sudan on 26 January 2017 (ST Photo)
February 28, 2018 (KHARTOUM,) - Sudan’s National Umma Party said on Wednesday that its leader Sadiq al-Mahdi has delayed to a later date his return to the country upon the recommendation of the party.

On the first of February, al-Mahdi travelled to Addis Ababa for a consultations meeting with the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel on the Roadmap agreement on the political process with the government.

According to a statement released on Wednesday, the NUP Higher Coordination Council, in a meeting held last Monday, recommended that the return of al-Sadiq al-Mahdi, previously scheduled for early March, be delayed.

The statement further disclosed that this delay would allow him to participate "in two important meetings in March in Paris and Addis Ababa to define a unified position of the Sudan Call forces."

Al-Mahdi is expected to participate in a meeting with the armed groups in Paris during the second week of March to discuss the way forward as they had declined a meeting during the first week one of February called by the mediators to discuss the roadmap agreement of 2016and to consider ways to develop it.

The opposition groups pointed that the meeting was ill-timed as it coincided with protests in Khartoum against the rising prices. They also regretted the silence of the mediation over the detention of several opposition leaders.

However and upon their request, al-Mahdi met the chief mediator Thabo Mbeki to brief him about the position of the Sudan Call factions on the roadmap and the whole process.

The postponement of al-Mahdi’s return comes within the party’s efforts to "achieving a just and comprehensive peace and full democratic change and openness towards all political forces working for a new regime," said the statement.

The Sudanese security used to block opposition leaders from travelling abroad when it comes to meet with the armed groups.

The opposition leader resides in Cairo.

(ST)

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