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Sudan call to meet German officials over peace and 2020 elections

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)
June 23, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The leadership of the opposition Sudan Call alliance will meet German official next week to discuss ways for peace, democratic reforms and the general elections of 2020.

In a statement released on Saturday, the Sudan Call spokesperson said they received an invitation extended by the German foreign ministry to discuss the position of the Sudan Call forces on the constitutional reforms and the elections scheduled for April 2020.

Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) leader and deputy chairman of the opposition umbrella Gibril Ibrahim said they received, through Berghof Foundation, an invitation from the German special envoy for Sudan for a consultations meeting in Berlin to discuss the whole political process within the framework of the African Union roadmap and the 2020 elections.

"It is clear that the government is seeking to assess the position of the Sudan Call in this regard," he further said, adding the one-day meeting will be on Friday 29 June "unless there is a last-minute extension of the discussions for another issue".

The German government which has a strategic partnership with the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) took the lead recently in the ongoing efforts to achieve peace in Sudan.

The mediation earlier this year called the Sudanese opposition alliance for a meeting to review the roadmap for peace and democratic reforms signed in August 2016. But the Sudan Call at the time demanded to delay the meeting due in order to support protests in Khartoum against the increase of bread prices.

Also, some of the Sudan Call forces say they are ready to take part in the 2020 elections, if a peace deal is signed and constitutional reforms adopted before April 2020. Also, they want clear guarantees for fair and free elections.

Ibrahim said the opposition will seek to convince the international community to support the implementation of the roadmap in line with its vision detailed at the meetings of the "Sudan appeal" in Paris last May.

"We will seek to persuade Germany to play a role in this direction with the Troika, France and the other concerned (facilitators)"

For his part, the opposition spokesperson Salah Jalal said they will urge the German government to contribute to revitalizing the African Union roadmap as a basis for the political settlement and that the regime commits to its international commitments in this regard to respect and develop the roadmap.

He added they will ask Germany to rethink the European Union platform called "Khartoum Process" to control migration flows from the Horn of Africa countries to Europe.

The Sudan Call delegation will be headed by its chairman Sadiq al-Mahdi and includes its secretary general Minni Minnawi, deputy chairmen Malik Agar and Gibril Ibrahim and the umbrella’s responsible for external relations Yasir Arman.

In early June, a Sudan Call delegation led by Minnawi held a meeting in Brussels with European Union special envoy for the Horn of Africa Alex RONDOS to discuss ways achieve peace in Sudan and the role that the European Union can play.