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Sudan opposition criticises AU for silence on HR violations

January 28 - 2018 KHARTOUM
Press conference of the allied opposition forces in Khartoum, August 2015 (RD)
Press conference of the allied opposition forces in Khartoum, August 2015 (RD)

The National Consensus Forces (NCF, a coalition of leftist opposition parties) has denounced the African Union for not taking a clear stance against the numerous human rights violations in the country.

In a statement on Friday, the NCP reiterated its rejection of any dialogue with the Sudanese government.

It criticised the African Union High-Level implementation Panel (AUHIP) headed by former South African President Thabo Mbeki for not condemning the recent arrests and maltreatment of many opposition leaders in Sudan, “including members of the Sudan Call”.

Earlier this month, the AUHIP mediation team invited the Sudanese government, and a small number of opposition forces, including the faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, led by Abdelaziz El Hilu (SPLM-N-El Hilu), to meet for a new round of peace talks concerning the Two Areas (Blue Nile and South Kordofan) in Addis Ababa on February 1.

The opposition parties consider any dialogue with the government “an attempt to circumvent the escalating public movement, to rescue the regime”.

They called on “all the forces to move forward to narrow the manoeuvring margins of the regime and not to provide any opportunity to prolong its life, until it has been uprooted”.

The NCF is a signatory of the Sudan Call, a two-page political communiqué calling for regime-change and democracy that was agreed on in Addis Ababa in early December 2014. The Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF, an alliance of the main rebel movements), the National Umma Party, and the Civil Society Initiative signed the document as well. Other Sudanese groups and parties joined the Sudan Call in the following year.

Peace talks

In August 2016, simultaneous negotiations between the Sudanese government and the SPLM-N on the Two Areas, and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Movement-MM on Darfur, brokered by the AUHIP in Addis Ababa, collapsed.

Both sides accused the other of obstructing the peace talks. While the introduction of new issues by the JEM and SLM-MM caused the negotiations on Darfur to collapse, the provision of humanitarian aid to war victims lead to a deadlock in the talks concerning the Two Areas.

Resumption of the negotiations has been frustrated by the deep distrust both sides have towards the other, and the government’s continuing oppression of basic liberties.

The split of the SPLM-N last year has also delayed the search for a solution for the violent conflict in the Two Areas that broke out in 2011.

In April 2017, the Nuba Mountains Liberation Council, the SPLM-N highest authority in South Kordofan, dismissed President Malik Agar and Secretary-General and chief negotiator with the Khartoum delegation, Yasir Arman, because they refused to include self-determination for the Two Areas in the peace talks.

The SPLM-N has been divided since then. The movement’s military leader Abdelaziz El Hilu was appointed SPLM-N chairman in South Kordofan while Agar leads a faction of the rebel group in Blue Nile State.

Last week, Agar said in a press statement that his faction will not take part in the new round of negotiations set for February.




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