Home | News    Tuesday 29 May 2018

Sudan Call to hand over detailed position over peace roadmap

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Sadiq al-Mahdi (C) poses for a picture with Sudan armed groups in Paris after his election as a chair of the opposition alliance on 17 March 2018 (ST photo)
May 28, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The opposition alliance Sudan Call Monday said it would hand over a detailed position to the African Union mediation on the roadmap for peace and democratic transition in the country, stressing its appreciation for the regional and international efforts to end the war.

The leadership council of the opposition umbrella, which gathers political and armed opposition groups as well as civil society organizations, concluded in Paris Monday a five-day meeting chaired by Sadiq al-Mahdi from 23 to 28 May.

The Roadmap agreement was mediated by the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) and signed by the government in March 2016 and the opposition in August 2016. But, it was not implemented following the parties’ failure to reach a humanitarian cessation of hostilities paving the way for peace negotiations.

In a statement released after the end of the meeting, the Sudan Call said praised the regional and international efforts to achieve peace in Sudan and reiterated its commitment to the roadmap.

"We affirm that our commitment to the roadmap is based on a detailed position that will be handed over to the mediation, the African Union and the international community," said the statement.

"It will include the demands of our people on the negotiated political solution, the cessation of war, and ensuring freedoms before entering into a national dialogue with the regime," added the final communiqué.

Following the failure of talks for a ceasefire agreement in August 2016, the government held its national dialogue conference without the opposition groups and formed a national consensus government. However, Khartoum said the opposition can join the process and participate in the elaboration of a permanent constitution.

The letter which will be addressed to the AUHIP chair Thabo Mbeki "explains the Sudanese government’s disavowal of its commitment to the roadmap agreement. Also, it includes the opposition’s call for the need to start any political process with a preparatory meeting to discuss the confidence-building measures that create a conducive environment for the dialogue and to agree on procedural issues on how to participates in the political process," an opposition source told the Sudan Tribune.

The alliance’s letter, according to the source, calls on the mediation to work for the abolishment of the death sentence in absentia against some leaders of the Sudan Call several years ago.

Last January in a bid to revive the peace process, the mediation invited the Sudan Call to discuss the matter but the opposition groups at the time preferred to delay it, as the country was witnessing a series of protests against the increase of bread prices.

In March 2018, the Sudan Call said ready to meet the mediation but no meeting took place.

STRUCTURES

The statement said the meeting discussed the restructures of the Sudan Call and adopted a three-level leadership structure, namely the Leadership Council, the General Secretariat and the Presidential Council, which has the powers of the leadership council in its absence. It was also agreed on a unified executive body inside the country and abroad.

The statement said that the meeting took new steps in building the alliance and strengthening its return as the largest coalition in the Sudanese political arena, including various forces.

He stressed that the meeting approved the Constitution and adopted three levels of leadership, namely "the leadership council and the Secretariat, and the Presidential Council," which has the powers of the leadership in his absence.

The Sudan Tribune was informed of the adoption of nine specialized secretariats belonging to the General Secretariat: Media, Political, Foreign Relations, Administrative and Financial Affairs.

The meeting further agreed to create a sixth bloc in Sudan’s Sudan dedicated to the representation of the displaced persons and refugees.

The decision ends the frustration of some armed groups that the current block representing the trade union and civil society groups does not include IDPs and refugees representatives.

Sudan Tribune has learnt that the meeting picked Omer al-Digair as chairman for the Sudan Call forces inside Sudan.

The meeting called on the other opposition groups including the National Consensus Forces, SPLM-N al-Hilu and SLM-Abdel Wahid to "build a broad resistance front". Or to tighten the coordination between the various opposition alliances, in the absence of the large coalition.

SLM-AW REITERATES ITS REJECTION

The SLM faction led by Abdel Wahid al-Nur issued a statement repeating its rejection to join the Sudan Call alliance saying "Negotiating with the regime to reach an agreement with it is unacceptable".

Further, the group stressed that the armed struggle is one of the important means to face the violence of the regime and the armed groups cannot be disarmed before a regime change, restructuration of the national institutions, building a national army, adoption of a new negotiated constitution and the end of the reasons for which the arms were taken.

The group, also, pointed to ICC arrest warrant against President Omer al-Bashir and other Sudanese officials accused of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur saying the opposition umbrella should include in its constitution that there would be no pardon for them.

Recently, there were unconfirmed reports about discussions to form a new faction of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front including the SPLM-N led by Abdel Aziz al-Hilu and the SLM-AW.

However, the commitment of SPLM-N al-Hilu to a unilateral ceasefire prevented the formation of this new rebel alliance as the SLM-AW rejects any ceasefire with the regime.

(ST)

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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