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Sudan’s dialogue opposition forces to meet with holdout parties

July 11, 2015 (KHARTOUM) - The chairman of the Just Peace Forum (JPF), al-Tayeb Mustafa, has announced that the opposition forces participating in the government-led dialogue formed a committee to convince the holdout political forces to join the process.

Mustafa also said the dialogue opposition parties would meet with the government parties soon in order to move the dialogue process forward.

The pro-government Sudan Media Center (SMC) on Saturday has quoted Mustafa as saying that a committee headed by himself and the chairman of the Eastern Sudan Democratic Forum (ESDF), Amal Ibrahim, will contact the political forces which refused to join the national dialogue.

He pointed that the committee is delegated to contact the political forces which boycot the dialogue, saying it has already embarked on contacting several political parties to convince them to join the comprehensive national dialogue.

Mustafa further said that some of those political parties have welcomed the initiative of the opposition parties participating in the dialogue and agreed to meet with the committee.

He pointed that the JPF and the ESDF are delegated to contact political parties inside Sudan and abroad alike in order to push forward the national dialogue with the participation of the entire political forces.

The chairman of the JPF stressed the committee would first contact the government parties to assess its readiness to continue the dialogue and to discuss previous efforts including the roadmap approved by the dialogue coordination body known as 7+7 and the Addis Ababa agreement signed with the rebel groups.

Sudanese government officials vowed to resume the dialogue process after the end of Ramadan and expressed willingness to meet with the opposition and rebel groups in a pre-dialogue meeting brokered by the African Union .

Meanwhile, the Reform Now Movement (RNM) led by Ghazi Salah al-Din has demanded the government and the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) to offer real concessions and create conducive environment for holding productive and transparent dialogue with the participation of all forces without exclusion.

RNM deputy chairman, Hassan Osman Rizq, told the SMC on Saturday that his party would be ready to rejoin the dialogue at anytime if the government showed commitment to the roadmap and the Addis Ababa agreement.

“Not only that but we would also call on the others [political forces] to join it [dialogue]”, he added.

Rizq reiterated their call for holding the dialogue under the administration of a neutral Sudanese body acceptable by all parties, renewing commitment to a meaningful dialogue to resolve the country’s crises.

The RNM official further emphasized that the dialogue in its current form doesn’t reflect the desires and aspirations of the Sudanese people.

The Sudanese president, Omer Hassan al-Bashir, launched the national dialogue initiative more than 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.

The government refusal to create a conducive environment including the implementation of confidence building measures forced the National Umma Party (NUP) to suspend its participation in the process.

Also, the Reform Now Movement (RNM) and the JPF marked their distance with the process but the latter resumed its participation recently.

In February 2015, the holdout National Consensus Forces (NCF), the alliance of rebel groups, Sudanese Revolutionary Forces and the NUP accepted to negotiate with the government on pre-dialogue measures before to join the internal process but the ruling party declined to meet them before the elections.

The international community expressed its support for the dialogue but since Khartoum refusal to participate in the preparatory meeting last March many countries expressed scepticism about the seriousness of the ruling party to hold a genuine process leading to achieve peace and reforms in Sudan.

(ST)