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Sudan’s NCP seeking to bring opposition into national dialogue

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July 4, 2015 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) disclosed that it has held meetings with some unnamed opposition parties refusing to engage in the national dialogue in order to convince them to join the process.

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Mustafa Osman Ismail, political secretary of Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP), attends a news conference on 8 April 2013 (AFP)

NCP head of the political sector, Mustafa Osman Ismail, told the pro-government Sudan Media Center (SMC) on Saturday that his party has made new proposals to accelerate the dialogue process. he further said they would submit those proposals to the dialogue coordinating body known as 7+7 soon without elaborating on its content.

The National Umma Party of Sadiq al-Mahdi and the Reform Now Movement (RNM) of Ghazi Salah al-Din Attabani suspended their participation in the dialogue process, claiming that the ruling party is not serious in peace and democratic reforms.

The whole opposition forces say there is a need for a conducive environment before to launch the internal process including freedoms, a cessation of hostilities agreement, and release of political detainees and prisoners.

Ismail pointed the proposals include setting a specific date to convene the dialogue besides activating the societal dialogue in coordination with the 7+7 committee.

He added that his party’s leadership has approved the proposals and asked for turning them into a work programme which accommodates all political parties participating in the dialogue, stressing that dialogue would resume after Ramadan.

The NCP official underscored that all political forces would participate in the dialogue including the armed groups, reiterating his party’s refusal to hold the dialogue outside Sudan.

“There is no room for holding the dialogue abroad,” he added.

The NCP refused to participate in a pre-dialogue meeting called by the African Union mediation last March in Addis Ababa, stressing that the priority should be given to ensure the political stability. It also vowed to participate in the preparatory meeting after the elections.

The Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir launched the national dialogue initiative a year and a half ago in which he urged opposition parties and rebels alike to join the dialogue table to discuss all the pressing issues.

But the initiative faced serious setbacks after the government refusal to create suitable atmosphere in the country.

The holdout opposition parties now cast doubts on the viability of the process and call for a new inclusive and comprehensive process to be brokered by an African Union team chaired by former president Thabo Mbeki.

Besides involving the international community, the opposition forces say no for the one process two tracks adopted by the African Union last September. But Khartoum however refuses this proposition.

(ST)

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