AU mediators conclude three-day visit to Sudan
On Sunday, members of the African Union High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), led by former South-African President Thabo Mbeki, completed a three-day visit to Khartoum.
The Panel held extensive discussions with President Omar Al Bashir, First Vice-President and Prime Minister, Lt. Gen. Bakri Hassan Saleh, and senior Ministers and other officials.
In a statement today, the AU reports that the AUHIP also met with members of the Sudanese High Implementation Committee (HIC) that monitors the implementation of the outcomes of the National Dialogue, as well as leaders and representatives of other political parties and civil society, including El Sadig El Mahdi, chairman of the largest opposition party, the National Umma Party, who returned to Sudan in January after an exile of two years.
According to the statement, all Sudanese interlocutors emphasised the need to adhere to the Roadmap Agreement of March 2016 (that was signed by the Sudanese government immediately, and by the opposition forces five months later). President Al Bashir reassured the Panel “of his commitment to enhancing the inclusivity of the process of implementing the outcomes of the National Dialogue, particularly the adoption of a new Constitution for Sudan”.
The Sudanese president further reiterated his support for the AUHIP’s proposal that “it should convene meetings of the relevant opposition formations in Addis Ababa to discuss enhancing the inclusivity of the above process in line with the Roadmap Agreement”.
The AUHIP proposed that the HIC and the opposition should meet to discuss the implementation of the dialogue outcomes, including the composition of the Committee. The Panel further urges “all of the parties outside the National Dialogue process to engage seriously with the political and constitution-making process, which are vital for the political transformation and stabilisation of Sudan”.
Cessation of hostilities
The mediators call upon the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), and the Sudan Liberation movement, led by Minni Minawi (SLM-MM), “to renew their commitment to completing the cessation of hostilities agreements, which are at a final stage of negotiations.
“These agreements are necessary for ensuring the delivery of urgent humanitarian assistance to civilians in the conflict areas and advancing the important Sudanese political process.”
In the following weeks, the Panel will also facilitate the convening of the Abyei Joint Oversight Committee, as well as an extraordinary session of the Joint Political and Security Mechanism to discuss outstanding issues on the security of the border.
In August last year, simultaneous negotiations between the Sudanese government and the Sudan SPLM-N on the Two Areas (Blue Nile and South Kordofan), and the Justice and JEM and the SLM-MM on Darfur, brokered by the AUHIP in Addis Ababa, collapsed.
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