Home | News    Saturday 12 July 2003

Sudan opposition call on Beshir to expand peace process

KHARTOUM, July 12 (AFP) — Sudan’s northern opposition parties called on President Omar al-Beshir on Saturday to carry forward the peace process with the southern rebels, and expand it to include their factions as well.

In a statement faxed to AFP here, the Umma, the Democratic Unionist, the Communist party, and others told Beshir the peace process would not bear fruit if it was confined to the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).

"All the Sudanese have the right to decide on the future of their homeland and to draw up Sudan’s new map together," it said.

The statement came as a sixth round of talks between Khartoum and the SPLA in Nakuru, Kenya ended without agreement on a draft peace accord aimed at ending Sudan’s 20-year civil war.

The northern parties called on Beshir to not back away from peace talks for "narrow partisan interests."

They urged Beshir to accept the "Khartoum Declaration," signed by opposition groups in July, which called for measures to be passed once a peace deal was concluded with the SPLA.

Among them was for Khartoum to be a national "secular" capital, an end of one-party rule, a release of political prisoners and a transitional government to supervise general elections.

"The options are limited: peace or war, democracy or tyranny, national unity or disintegration and separation," the parties warn in their latest statement.

The Khartoum Declaration was signed by 18 opposition parties, 15 non-government organizations and more than 40 individual opposition leaders.

A statement from Khartoum on the latest round of talks with the SPLA said the proposals put forward by the mediators were "unbalanced and inconsistent" with previous agreements.