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Mediators conclude consultations on Sudan’s roadmap without meeting opposition alliance

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December 13, 2018 (ADDIS ABABA) - The African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) Thursday wrapped up consultations with the Sudanese parties on the revision of the Roadmap Agreement without meeting the Sudan Call forces.

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AUHIP chief Thabo Mbeki speaks to reporters following a meeting with Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir on 5 November 2014 (SUNA)

The African Union mediators convened a consultations meeting gathering the government and the different opposition forces in Addis Ababa between 9 and 12 December 2018 hoping that the signatories of the framework agreement give their positions on the proposals they had made on 25 September 2018 about the changes to make.

However, the mediation only held successful meetings with the government delegation led by Presidential Assistant Faisal Hassan Ibrahim. The SPLM-N led by Abdel Aziz al-Hilu which distanced itself from the roadmap recently, told the AUHIP they want to "continue to have separate discussions with the Panel in preparation for negotiations with the Government".

For the Sudan Call, the panel said it wants to meet only with the National Umma Party, Justice and Equality Movement and the Sudan Liberation Movement - Minni Minnawi. It excluded the SPLM-N Agar and the other political opposition groups including the Sudanese Congress Party.

While the Sudan Call refused that the mediation picks the forces that can take part in the consultations, the AUHIP said the participation of the non-signatories in the consultations, contradicts "the objectives of the meeting".

"As a result, the consultations could not be completed," said the AUHIP in a statement on Thursday.

The opposition alliance said Wednesday they would submit a written position paper to the mediation.

"The Panel had hoped that the meeting would result in consensus on inclusive participation in the processes of adopting a new constitution, and the national elections scheduled for 2020," said the mediators.

Following his return to Khartoum, the head of the government delegation said that the chief mediator Thabo Mbeki will call for a new round of negotiations on the agenda after completing consultations with the parties to the roadmap.

Commenting on the suspension of consultations by the AUHIP, Faisal said the decision was taken due to the presence of non-signatory parties to the roadmap in Addis Ababa.

However, the members of the Sudan Call delegation say they were invited to the meeting by the mediation which sent them the tickets and accommodate them in the hotels. They accused the government on exerting pressures on the mediation team to not include them in the process.

The government is favourable to the proposed cancellation of the preparatory meeting on the national dialogue and the confidence-building measures before their return to Khartoum.

While the opposition alliance calls to maintain this phase of the roadmap.

(ST)

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