The AU High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) has invited the Sudanese government and opposition forces for a preparatory meeting on the National Dialogue in Addis Ababa on Sunday.
Sudan Tribune reported on Tuesday that the AUHIP sent an invitation to both parties, based on its mandate pursuant to the Communiqué of the 456th meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) on 12 September last year, to participate in “consultations on the process and procedural matters related to the National Dialogue”.
The discussions, to take place on 29 and 30 March, are to be based on the roadmap for the National Dialogue, approved by the political parties’ General Assembly in Khartoum on 9 August last year, the Addis Ababa agreement signed by opposition forces and the National Dialogue Steering Committee on 5 September, on the dialogue and the constitutional processes, as well as the communiqué of the AUPSC’s 456th meeting.
According to the AUPSC communiqué, the preparatory meeting should be facilitated by the AUHIP and held at the AU headquarters in the Ethiopian capital, to ensure that “the necessary confidence-building are taken, the key steps of the National Dialogue process are fully agreed upon, and that the process is fair and will result in the mutually-agreed objectives”.
The African Council also requested from the Sudanese government to implement confidence-building measures as agreed in the 5 September 2014 agreement, including the release of all political detainees, the restoration of political freedoms, and the provision of guarantees for representatives of the rebel movements to participate in the dialogue.
End February, the Sudan Appeal signatories met in the German capital, and agreed on a joint position paper regarding the National Dialogue, that became known as the Berlin Declaration.
The allied opposition forces agreed in Berlin to take part in an AU brokered preparatory National Dialogue meeting in Addis Ababa, on the condition that the national election will be postponed, all political detainees are released, and the ruling National Congress Party agrees on the establishment of a national transitional government.
The Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) rebel alliance, the National Umma Party (NUP), the National Consensus Forces (NCF), a coalition of opposition parties, and the Civil Society Initiative (CSI), on 3 December last year signed the Sudan Appeal in Addis Ababa, a political communiqué, calling for regime-change, and the rebuilding of Sudan on principles of equal citizenship and democracy.
The Secretary-General of the NUP, Sarah Nugdallah, said in a press conference in Omdurman on Tuesday that the signatories of the Sudan Appeal recognise the AUHIP as “the only body we deal with concerning the National Dialogue process”.
She stressed that any official communication with the NUP about issues regarding the dialogue, including by the Sudanese government, should go through the official channels.
She further announced that NUP president El Sadig El Mahdi will coordinate the communication with the SRF, and their joint work on a National Charter, to be based on “unified diversity” of the Sudanese population, and on “the coordination structure of all forces that will participate in the new government”.
(Source on the Addis Ababa meeting: Sudan Tribune)