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Sudan accepts AUHIP’s proposal to amend peace roadmap: official

Faisal Hassan Ibrahim
October 17, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese government announced on Wednesday its readiness to resume peace negotiations on the bases of the recent proposal made by the African Union chief mediator Thabo Mbeki.

Mbeki, the head of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) arrived in Khartoum Wednesday for talks with the Sudanese government officials on the peace process in the Two Areas and Darfur and the democratic reforms.

His visit comes after a letter sent to the parties, last September, proposing to amend the RoadMap Agreement (RMA) signed in March and August 2016 by the government and the opposition groups respectively.

He proposed that after the peace agreements, the parties move directly to the constitutional conference with the participation of the opposition groups without the preparatory meeting for a national dialogue conference. He stressed that conditions have changed in the country and the opposition should be flexible.

Following a meeting with Mbeki on Wednesday evening, Presidential Assistant and head of the government negotiating delegation Faisal Hassan Ibrahim announced the government’s readiness to resume negotiations with the opposition and the armed movements according to the agenda set by the AUHIP of President Mbeki.

"The meeting discussed the resumption of negotiations plus some important issues in this regard. Also, we discussed the participation of the Roadmap signatories in the preparation of the next constitution of Sudan and the law of elections as well as (their) participation in the elections," he said after meeting with Mbeki in Khartoum.

He added that Mbeki is visiting Sudan to know the position of the government to the proposal made on the resumption of negotiations.

"Sudan has already signed the roadmap proposed by the AUHIP to negotiate," he said, reiterating the willingness to resume negotiations under the auspices of the African mediation and the agenda it has proposed.

Mbeki who arrived in the Sudanese capital on Wednesday is expected to meet with President al-Bashir on Thursday. He would also meet some opposition leaders before to leave Khartoum.

The opposition alliance Sudan Call rejected the proposal to amend a roadmap for reaffirmed its adherence to the initial peace plan.

In a statement released on 5 October 2018, the opposition umbrella said the roadmap reflects the decisions of the African Union Peace and Security Council. They added that the government’s lack of true willingness for change is the main obstacle to reach a comprehensive and just political solution.

"The Sudan Call will not be part of the play of false change and superficial beautification of the regime, and will work to escalate the peaceful popular struggle," the Sudan Call said.