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Opposition welcomes Sudan Call’s decision to end negotiations with Bashir’s regime

March 20, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The opposition National Consensus Forces (NCF) led by Farok Abu Issa welcomed the withdrawal of the Sudan Call forces from the African Union-brokered Roadmap for peace and democratic reforms and called on the holdout armed groups to join the forces of freedom and change.

NCF leader Farouk Abu Issa (R) arrives at the premises of the National Umma Party on 12 April 2015 (ST)

In a bid to increase political pressure on the regime of President Omer al-Bashir, the Sudan Call Wednesday decided to withdraw from the Roadmap Agreement signed in August 2016 to end the war and to restore a democratic rule in Sudan.

To make it more obvious, the armed groups in Darfur also withdraw from a peace process they accepted last December to engage with Khartoum under the framework of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur.

"The position of the Sudanese call forces expressed in the final communiqué, which upholds the option of the popular uprising, abandoning the road map, and emphasizing that there is no dialogue and no negotiation with this regime, is very appreciated and respected," said the NCF.

The Sudanese opposition today is more united and cohesive around the will of the masses to defeat the regime and bring down the agenda of political Islam completely, further stressed the statement.

Also, the alliance of the left forces said this development pave the way for the finalization of the transitional period arrangements.

Historically, the National Umma Party (NUP) and the Sudanese Congress Party (SCoP) as well as civil society groups were part of the NCF but had divergence with the Sudanese Communist Party and allied groups over the negotiation with the regime.

Both, the NCF and Sudan Call are now part of the Declaration of Freedom and Change with the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) and the Gathering of Unionists in Opposition.

During the press conference held at the end of the Sudan Call meeting in Paris, the leader of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) Gibril Ibrahim slammed the African Union mediation team led by the former South African President Thabo Mbeki and said he is "no longer a mediator but the ally of the regime".

Last year, Mbeki sought to amend the roadmap agreement in a way to move directly to the Constitutional Conference after concluding a peace agreement on the armed conflicts in Darfur and the Two Areas. Also, the proposal says that the opposition should participate in the general elections scheduled in 2020.

However, Mariam al-Mahdi the NUP deputy leader pointed to the African Union initiative of Silencing the Guns by 2020 and said the Sudanese opposition appreciates the regional role in this respect and expressed readiness to consider ways to bring end war and bring democratic change in Sudan.