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More Sudanese parties join Addis AUHIP meeting

August 25 - 2015 ADDIS ABABA
Dr Ghazi Salah Eddin Atabani, the head of the Reform Now Movement sits with El Sadig El Mahdi (NUP) in Addis Ababa after his arrival on 24 August 2015 (Sudan Appeal)
Dr Ghazi Salah Eddin Atabani, the head of the Reform Now Movement sits with El Sadig El Mahdi (NUP) in Addis Ababa after his arrival on 24 August 2015 (Sudan Appeal)

The two-month ceasefire declared by President Omar Al Bashir could be extended should the national dialogue in the country make progress. Meanwhile, another opposition party has arrived at the table in Addis Ababa, where the Sudan Appeal delegation has confirmed its readiness to engage with the Sudanese government in a comprehensive peace and national dialogue.

Mustafa Osman Ismail, a member of the national dialogue mechanism in Sudan and political affairs secretary of the ruling National Congress Party, announced the possibility of an extension on Sunday evening, following this week’s meetings in the Ethiopian capital which are headed by the chairman of the African Union High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), Thabo Mbeki. They include Sudan’s opposition and rebel movements and have been given the blessing of the Sudanese president, Ismail said.

In the Ethiopian capital, Dr Ghazi Salaheddin Atabani, the head of the Reform Now Movement, arrived on Monday at the invitation of AUHIP chairman Thabo Mbeki, to hold consultations on the activation of the national dialogue in Sudan.

In a press statement by his party, Salaheddin predicted that a delegation from the '7+7' national dialogue steering committee, which represents the ruling party, and pro-government and opposition parties, might be heading to Addis Ababa to engage in the AUHIP meeting in order to catch up with consultations. He expects them to do so at the invitation of the African Union mechanism.

“The current national dialogue in Sudan is a complete dodge from the African Union's agreements.”

The Sudan Appeal forces present in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, confirmed their readiness to engage with the Sudanese government in a comprehensive peace and national dialogue. The current national dialogue process, however, is meant for the ruling party and is “a complete dodge from the African Union's agreements”.

The Sudan Appeal, represented by leaders of the Sudan Revolutionary Front rebel alliance and the National Umma Party led by El Sadig El Mahdi, issued a statement on Monday in which it gave the AUHIP a clear mandate to facilitate a dialogue process in Sudan, to be held “away from the control of the regime”.

On Sunday evening, the opposition movements presented a position paper on a comprehensive peace and democratic transformation to the AUHIP. In the paper, they stated that the AUHIP needs to be re-structured to be more effective in reaching its goals. Unamid should be included in the African mediation team that also should be seriously backed by regional and international actors.

The AU mediation team invited the opposition and rebel leaders for a consultative meeting over the weekend to discuss the way forward after the Sudanese government rejected the proposal of merging peace negotiations with a national dialogue.

New meeting addressed AU's role in Sudan

In another meeting held on Monday, the Sudan Appeal presented a comprehensive orientation to the AU team, in order to help it take the appropriate decisions on the Sudanese crises. Mini Arko Minnawi, the head of the rebel SLM-MM, told Radio Dabanga that they demanded the AU Peace and Security Council to find comprehensive political solutions for all issues and conflicts in Sudan. Minnawi described the meeting as “fruitful ,that found response from the AU”.

He added that they focused on the need for effective representation of the AUHIP and the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (Unamid), and asked the union to play its role in Darfur by restoring the Darfur file from the Doha peace agreement signed in 2011.


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