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Sudan’s ruling party to mull Berlin declaration

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March 4, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) said on Wednesday it will deeply consider the Berlin declaration signed by the opposition forces to take a stand on it.

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Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir has called on political parties to participate in national dialogue aimed at stimulating a reform plan announced earlier this year (Photo: Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)

The “Sudan Call” forces, including the opposition alliance National Consensus Forces (NCF), rebel umbrella Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF), National Umma Party (NUP) and civil society groups, issued on Saturday the Berlin declaration where they expressed their readiness to discuss with Khartoum government the requirements and procedures of the national dialogue in a preparatory meeting.

In a first reaction to Berlin Declaration, Sudanese information minister Ahmed al-Balal rejected their call for the postponement of elections. He said the government is determined to hold the elections as scheduled, pointing that Berlin declaration would not affect the national dialogue process or the elections.

The signatories of Berlin declaration tasked the NUP and the SRF to represent them in the dialogue preparatory meeting which should be held at the African Union headquarters. initially the meeting had to be held after and not before the cessation of hostility agreement.

However, Mustafa Osman Ismail, head of the NCP political sector, said in a press statement on Wednesday his party will consider the outcome of the Berlin declaration before taking a position.

He added that their position will be based on the roadmap agreed upon within the national dialogue committee.

He said that the NCP was involved in the consultations which preceded Berlin’s meetings, stressing they will study and assess its outcome to take a stand on it.

A visiting German delegation Monday began a series of meetings with the Sudanese officials to brief them about the outcome of a meeting the Sudanese opposition groups held last week in Berlin.

Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir launched a national dialogue initiative last January and urged political opposition and rebel groups to join but his call faced major setback after the NUP withdrew following the one month detention of its chairman al-Sadiq al-Mahdi in May.

Rebel movements and the NCF refused to join the dialogue from the start.

(ST)

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