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African Union mediator to consult Sudanese opposition over peace roadmap

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Thabo Mbeki (C) poses for a picture with the Sudan Call leading members in Khartoum on 18 Oct 2018 (ST Photo)
October 18, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The African Union chief mediator Thabo Mbeki plans to meet the opposition Sudan Call groups to discuss the resumption of the peace talks and the amendment a roadmap agreement signed in 2016.

The meeting was announced in a statement released by the Sudan Call groups inside the country after a meeting with the visiting former South African president who leads an African Union mediation team to end the armed conflicts and facilitate democratic reforms in Sudan.

Recently Mbeki proposed to amend the signed roadmap in a way to jamb directly to the constitutional conference once peace deals on Darfur and the Two Areas are signed. But the Sudan Call rejected the proposal sticking to the initial agreement which provides to hold a preparatory meeting to discuss the agenda of the conference and confidence-building measures to be enforced before their return to Sudan.

The opposition delegation reiterated their rejection of the proposal and expressed the readiness of the Sudan Call forces to discuss their position with the mediation, in a meeting that includes representatives of all the members of the opposition alliance, said the statement.

The statement of Sudan Call did not mention when the meeting will take place. But Mbeki used to meet Sadiq al-Mahdi the leader of the opposition alliance to discuss their positions on the different issues.

The opposition umbrella which includes political and armed groups believes that the proposed amendment transgresses the decisions of the AU Peace and Security Council 456 meeting of 12 September 2014 and the 539th meeting of 25 August 2015 respectively on the confidence-building measures to be taken before the constitutional conference and the pre-National Dialogue meeting.

Mbeki on left the Sudanese capital on Thursday evening after meeting President Omer al-Bashir who reiterated his call for the opposition groups to end the war and join the constitutional conference.

Al-Bashir also called on the opposition groups to take part in the 2020 elections.

During his two-day meeting, Mbeki also met with the Alliance of 2020 Forces led by Ghazi Salah al-Din and briefed them on his efforts to reactivate the stalled peace negotiations between the government and the opposition groups.

The former South African president is blamed for failing to bring the parties to sign a peace agreement in a process that started nearly ten years ago with the support of the US, EU and China.

(ST)

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