Arab League delegation begins Khartoum meetings, junta-opposition negotiations continue
A delegation of the League of Arab States, headed by Dr Khalil El Zorani, Deputy Secretary-General and Head of the Arab Affairs and National Security Sector of the Arab League, will begin meeting with Sudanese officials and political groups in Khartoum on Wednesday.
The Secretary-General’s spokesman stated that the delegation’s visit comes in the context of the commitment of the Arab League to support the parties in Sudan, to call for the resumption of the negotiation process, and to build confidence between them so as to ensure a broad national consensus to overcome the difficulties of the current phase and reach a compromise formula for the transitional period.
The Arab League delegation members arrived in Khartoum on Tuesday evening for a three-day visit to the country.
The delegation includes the Plenipotentiary Minister Zein El Sabban and the Director of the Department of the Horn of Africa and Sudan at the Arab League.
The African mediator, Mohamed Labbat, announced via the official Sudan News Agency (SUNA) on Wednesday evening at Corinthia hotel in Khartoum, which hosted the direct negotiations between the Transitional Military Council (TMC) and the Alliance for Freedom and Change (AFC), that the two parties agreed on a host of issues, top of which was the release of political detainees who were detained in connection with recent incidents, disclosing that the two sides decided to continue their meetings on Thursday evening to deliberate over other issues.
He added that the TMC and AFC have been “engaged in direct negotiations amid prevalence of spirit of patriotism and responsibility”.
The two parties entered a new round of direct negotiations on Wednesday evening at Corinthia hotel in Khartoum in presence of the AU and Ethiopian mediators.
On Wednesday, the Alliance for Freedom and Change (AFC) announced their agreement to negotiate directly with the military junta at the call of African-Ethiopian mediation and accordingly began negotiating sessions on Wednesday evening.
Yesterday, Madani Abbas, spokesman for the AFC negotiating delegation said in a press conference that the AFC made remarks that must be fulfilled before talking about direct negotiations including determining the time frame for negotiations within 72 hours with the identification of negotiations for one point which is the presidency of the Sovereign Council with no return to the points that earlier have been determined, this as well as calling for a written copy of the final version of the document.
He explained that they demanded the release of detained AFC members and members of resistance committees, procedures to investigate the killing of demonstrators, and the return of the Internet.
He stressed the continuation of the peaceful demonstrations alongside the direct negotiations, pointing out that the crisis of confidence between the AFC and the junta still exists.
Siddig Faroug, leading member of the AFC, expressed his happiness about the mediation statement referring to a point of disagreement remaining: that the military junta approves their proposal on an Independent Investigation Commission into all victims during the last period, to be monitored by the African Union and international community
AFC member Babikir Feisal attributed the AFC’s positive response to the mediation proposal to involve in direct negotiations so as not to lose the achievements realised at the diplomatic level, so as not to be the party responsible for disrupting the African track.
The Sudan Call alliance of armed movements, opposition parties, and civil society organisations, agreed on the African-Ethiopian initiative as a negotiating position after its technical committee studied the proposal.
The Sudan Call said in a statement after a meeting of all its components at the National Umma Party’s offices in Omdurman on Tuesday that "The African-Ethiopian initiative is a good framework for direct negotiations, to complete the process of transition to a democratic civilian authority".
The participants decided that the negotiating process must be led by the negotiating delegation in accordance with the agreed negotiating position as political reference of the Central Council of the AFC.
The statement also stressed that the escalation of demonstrations is a political issue not isolated from the political process to be decided by the Central Council of the AFC according to requirements.
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