Paris Declaration welcomed by Sudan opposition, rejected by regime
The Paris Declaration, signed on 8 August by Malik Agar, chairman of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF, an alliance of the main rebel movements) and El Sadig El Mahdi, president of the opposition National Umma Party, has been welcomed by the Sudanese opposition parties.
The Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) described the Paris Declaration as a positive step. Siddig Yousif, member of the party’s Central Committee told Radio Dabanga that the SCP hails “the concentration on the key issues, without which no dialogue can take place, such as stopping the wars, the urgent delivery of humanitarian relief, the release of political detainees, the return of public freedoms, and a democratic transformation”.
“Though we may differ on the details, we entirely agree on the importance of the main issues of the Paris Declaration.”
Regarding the position of the National Consensus Forces (NCF, a coalition of opposition parties), Yousif said that the Paris Declaration reflects the position of the opposition.
“The NCF have agreed on a unified programme for peace and democracy, and the need to topple the current regime. We do not reject a dialogue with the ruling National Congress Party (NCP), but we realised that the NCP is not serious about their proposed National Dialogue. So the NCF unanimously opted for mass mobilisation to overthrow the Khartoum regime.”
Cessation of hostilities
The Popular Congress Party (PCP), led by Hassan El Turabi, participating in the National Dialogue launced by the ruling party, reacted by saying that “the PCP is studying the Paris Declaration”.
Kamal Omar, the party’s Political Affairs Secretary stated to Radio Dabanga that the PCP will support the Declaration, if the contents are in line with PCP’s strategic positions on resolving the crises. He added that the PCP backs SRF’s declaration of a unilateral cessation of hostilities for two months. “This will enhance the political parties’ efforts to realise peace.”
Omar urged the ruling NCP to welcome the cessation of hostilities, and lift the blockade on the delivery of relief to the affected in the war-torn regions of South Kordofan and the Blue Nile. He also called on the Sudanese government acknowledge the SRF in order to reach a comprehensive peace in Sudan.
The Sudanese government, however, rejected a temporary cease-fire. Dr Ibrahim Ghandour, Adviser to the President and chairman of the government delegation engaged in peace negotiations with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-N) on South Kordofan and the Blue Nile, reiterated the government’s insistence on a “comprehensive cessation of hospitalities”. “A temporary cease-fire will allow the SPLM-N to prepare well for a long term war.”
Ghandour told the press on Saturday that “a comprehensive cessation of hostilities should be part of the holistic approach to end the war and the people’s suffering, after which the delivery of relief to the affected could start immediately”.
File photo: SRF and NUP leaders a day before the signing of the Paris Declaration, 7 August 2014. From left to right: Minni Minawi, leader of the Sudan Liberation movement-MM, Dr Jibril Ibrahim, leader of the Justice and Equality Movement, El Sadig El Mahdi, Malik Agar, Abdel Wahid El Nur, head of the Sudan Liberation movement-AW,Dr Maryam El Sadig, co-vice president of the NUP, El Tom Hajo, chairman of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), and Yasir Arman, SRF Foreign Relations Secretary (Radio Dabanga)
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