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Sudan’s PCP optimistic over peace prospects in Darfur

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Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir receives PCP Secretary General Ali al-Haj on 11 September 2017 (SUNA Photo)

April 8, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The secretary general of the Popular Congress Party (PCP) Ali al-Haj Mohamed has expected the Sudanese government and the rebel movements to reach a peace agreement soon.

The Sudanese government and two armed groups from Darfur region (Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and Sudan Liberation Movement Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) will meet in Berlin on 16 and 17 April to negotiate a pre-negotiation agreement.

If the parties strike a deal, it would pave the way for talks on a cessation of hostilities and then they will join the negotiations table to discuss political issues in Doha.

Commenting on these developments, al-Haj who met Darfur groups last December told the semi-official Sudan Media Center (SMC) that the armed movements have expressed desire to end the war and achieve peace in the country.

He pointed out that his meeting with the SRF in Berlin was based on the outcome of the national dialogue, saying the PCP met with the rebel umbrella within the framework of its participation in the National Consensus Government.

Al-Haj added the PCP seeks to bring the views of the various parties closer through its work in the Supreme Council for Peace which was formed by the Sudanese presidency recently.

The PCP, which historically was opposed to foreign initiatives to end the war in Sudan, launched several months ago an initiative to bridge the gaps between the National Congress Party-led government and the opposition groups that boycott the National Dialogue process.

It is noteworthy that the state security prosecution last week filed criminal charges against the leader of the opposition National Umma Party (NUP) Sadiq al-Mahdi for dealing and coordinating with the armed movements that seek to topple the regime.

Following a heated internal debate over participation in the National Consensus Government which was formed in May 2017, the PCP took part in the executive and legislative branches of the post-dialogue government.

The Islamist party had earlier threatened to not participate in the government after the parliament passed constitutional amendments retaining powers of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS).

The PCP, founded by the late Islamic leader Hassan al-Turabi, splinted from the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) since 1999 and joined the opposition ranks since that time but it supported the national dialogue process declared by al-Bashir in 2014 and participated in all its forums.

The opposition groups boycotted the process because the government and the armed groups failed to sign a humanitarian truce and also due to Khartoum refusal to implement a number of confidence-building measures aiming to create a conducive environment in the country before to hold the inclusive dialogue.

(ST)

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