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Al-Mahdi, British lawmakers discuss Sudan peace process

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NUP leader Sadiq al-Mahdi and Lord Alton outside the House of Commons in London on 22 March 2018 (ST Photo)
March 22, 2018 (LONDON) - Sadiq al-Mahdi, leader of the Umma Party and Chair of the Sudan Call, Thursday discussed peace and democratic reforms in the east African country with representatives from the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Sudan and South Sudan, chaired by Sir Henry Bellingham MP.

Al-Mahdi travelled to London following his election as Chairperson of the opposition umbrella Sudan Call at a meeting held in Paris.

On Thursday morning, he delivered at Chatham House a speech on Sudan’s peace process and the need to creating confidence building conditions for an inclusive dialogue and a durable peace.

Also, he warned against al-Bashir’s re-election for a third term, saying it is a suicidal scenario, for the country. "It means continuing to punish Sudan because of the ICC indictment for the Sudanese president," he stressed.

At the meeting in the House of Lords, the parties discussed a wide range of topics, including the African Union-brokered roadmap agreement for peace and democratic reforms in Sudan, the protests and ongoing detentions in Sudan, and the bilateral relationship.

Commenting after the meeting, Lord Alton, Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Sudan and South Sudan welcomed al-Madhi’s election as chairperson of the Sudan Call and called to engage a dialogue with the Sudanese opposition.

"I am glad that the opposition (groups) have united once again as the Sudan Call – the UK Government should respond by inviting the Sudan Call to the UK for a structured dialogue," Alton said.

"I wish Imam al-Sadiq all the best in his vital work and look forward to working closely with him to bring about peace, justice and human rights in Sudan,” he added.

Last year, the APPG published a report on UK-Sudan relations calling for human rights to be prioritised by the UK Government. The report argued that the UK Government was in danger of losing its reputation as a human rights standard-bearer due to competing concerns of tackling irregular migration and extremism in the region.

(ST)

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