In his first reaction on the refusal of the three armed movements and his party to sign the AUHIP Roadmap Agreement, developed during strategic consultations held this week in Addis Ababa under the auspices of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) El Sadig El Mahdi, the head of the National Umma Party said the African mediation led by Thabo Mbeki “has rushed to sign the agreement” so as to impose it as a reality on them.
On Thursday El Mahdi told a news conference via social media that their refusal was because of their reservations regarding three items in the agreement signed by the Sudanese government and Mbeki.
He confirmed that “the opposition, which refused to sign, is not obstinate or indifferent to the need to implement an immediate cease-fire and allow humanitarian aid to all people.
“We are very keen on a ceasefire, cessation of hostilities, and the implementation of procedures to establish trust between the negotiating parties until we reach a solution.”
He stressed that “the AU mediator could have waited for two or three days in order to look into our demands and reservations regarding the three items.
In a statement on Thursday, AU Commission Chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma gave the Sudanese opposition less than a week to sign the roadmap.
She praised in a statement the Sudanese government for signing a roadmap and called on the other parties to sign by 28 March so as to push the political process for resolving the multiple conflicts in the country.
Dlamini-Zuma also called on the parties who have not yet signed the agreement “to desist from making any unhelpful public statements, so as to avoid jeopardizing what they have committed to achieving; namely lasting peace in Sudan”.