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Al-Mahdi reiterates calls for inclusive dialogue in Sudan

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March 15, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sadiq al-Mahdi, the leader of the National Umma Party has reiterated his call for an inclusive dialogue with the regime of President Omer al-Bashir based on the African Union-mediated roadmap agreement.

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Sadiq al-Mahdi speaks to France 24 on 15 March 2018 (ST photo)

Al-Mahdi made his call from Paris where he participates in a meeting for the opposition Sudan Call alliance to take a joint position over a proposal by the African Union to review a roadmap agreement for peace and reforms they signed with the government in 2016.

In an interview with France 24 Arabic Service on Thursday, the opposition leader voiced his support for an inclusive political dialogue even if some opposition groups believe that "it is useless" to engage in a dialogue with the government of President al-Bashir.

"We believe that this dialogue should fulfil certain requirements that lead to a regime change similar to what happened in South Africa, " said al-Mahdi.

"This dialogue also should be inclusive and paves the way for freedoms and human rights," he added.

Al-Mahdi said if the government engages a serious dialogue, such a move would convince the recalcitrant opposition forces to join the process.

The roadmap agreement provides to hold talks between the armed groups and the government to discuss issues related to Darfur and Sudan’s Two Areas. Following what the government would restore freedoms and release political detainees for a national dialogue process.

However, the government held the dialogue process without the opposition groups in October 2016 after the failure to reach an agreement in August 2016.

Now, the opposition can only join the constitutional process which should prepare for 2020 general elections, the government says.

Al-Mahdi said the African Union and the international community have to show their support for an inclusive process and press the government to implement the confidence-building measures and create conducive conditions for the inclusive dialogue.

The Sudan Call forces are expected to conclude their meeting on Saturday, as they are discussing the structures of their umbrella and the composition of a leadership council.

(ST)

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