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Sudan Call accuses African mediation of colluding with the Sudanese government

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Sudan Call leader Sadiq al-Mahdi talks to reports after his arrival in Addis Ababa on Wednesday morning on 12 Dec 2018 (ST photo)
December 15, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The opposition alliance Sudan Call has accused the African mediation of colluding with the Sudanese government demanding the African Union to launch an investigation on the failure of discussions over Roadmap Agreement last week in Addis Ababa.

The African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) led by Thabo Mbeki 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.

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".

In a press statement on Saturday, the Sudan Call said the mediation has paid travel and accommodation expenses for 14 of its leaders after the alliance insisted on the need that all its factions be represented at the meeting.

“Under the pressure of the Sudanese government, the AUHIP disavowed its invitation and denied the hosting arrangements and all logistics it has provided to the Sudan Call members coming from Sudan and abroad” read the statement

The statement also accused the Sudanese government of seeking to achieve partial solutions and dividing the opposition particularly the Sudan Call.

“The refusal of the mediation to meet the Sudan Call is nothing but an unjustified response to the government pressures and as such, it calls into question the integrity of the mediator and its ability to mediate,” said the opposition alliance

The Sudan Call further held the AUHIP responsible for the failure of the discussions, demanding the AU to launch an inquiry to arrive at the full facts particularly as the AU and the UN Security Council resolutions calls to achieve just and comprehensive and democratic transformation in Sudan.

The statement pointed out that the Sudan Call has sent a letter to the AUHIP Chief Thabo Mbeki stressing the opposition alliance wouldn’t accept partial solutions and won’t respond to any invitation that excludes some of its factions.

The statement also said the AUHIP hasn’t asked the Sudan Call to meet with the government but invited its leaders to hold official consultations with the mediation.

It pointed that the mediation has initially proposed to hold consultations with four factions of the Sudan Call including the SPLM-N led by Malik Agar but it has changed its position and refused to meet the latter.

Following his return to Khartoum, the head of the government delegation Faisal Hassan Ibrahim said 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, Ibrahim said the decision was taken due to the presence of non-signatory parties to the roadmap in Addis Ababa.

The AUHIP is brokering comprehensive peace talks to end the war and achieve democratic reforms. The two-track process comprises the Sudanese government and opposition forces including the armed groups in Darfur and the Two Areas.

In Mars and August 2016, the Sudanese government and the opposition alliance respectively signed a roadmap for peace in Sudan providing that the warring parties end the war, negotiate peace agreement and together with the opposition political groups hold a preparatory conference before to return to Sudan and participate in the national dialogue process and a constitutional conference.

However, the parties failed to strike a cessation of hostilities deal and a humanitarian access agreement in Darfur and the Two Areas for different reasons. As a result, the government held its national dialogue conference and formed a national consensus government to implement its recommendations.

(ST)

For more on this matter read: The AUHIP needs to revisit its modus operandi by JEM leader Gibril Ibrahim

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