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Sudan Revolutionary Front remains ‘committed to peace’

July 30 - 2018 PARIS
Leaders of the Sudan Revolutionary Front meet in Paris, July 26, 2018 (SRF)
Leaders of the Sudan Revolutionary Front meet in Paris, July 26, 2018 (SRF)

The Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF, a coalition of Sudanese armed movements) has renewed its commitment to search for a peaceful solution for the crisis in Sudan. The Sudan Liberation Movement-Transitional Council (SLM-TC) faction has officially joined the coalition.

The SRF, currently chaired by Minni Minawi, leader of the SLM-MM, said in a statement on Saturday that the group remains committed to “peace as a strategic option to reach a comprehensive solution that addresses the root causes of the crisis in Sudan [..] and leads to democratic transformation and national reconciliation”.

The statement, issued at the end of a number of meetings of the SRF Leadership Council in Paris last week, further said that the rebel groups are striving for a comprehensive political solution based on the AU roadmap. They will continue to work under the umbrella of the Sudan Call, an alliance of opposition parties and civil society organisations.

However, the allied rebel movements asserted their adherence to the armed struggle as a legitimate means for opposing the Khartoum regime.

The SRF called on “all Sudanese opposition forces [..] to guide efforts to bring about change and end the suffering of the homeland and the people”.

The coalition also confirmed its full support to the International Criminal Court (ICC), and called for the implementation of arrest warrants issued by the court for President Omar Al Bashir, state governors Ahmed Haroun and Abdelrahim Hussein, and janjaweed leader Ali Kushayb.

The members of the SRF also welcomed the joining of the SLM-TC, currently led by Dr El Hadi Idris.

The new member however refuses to negotiate with the Sudanese government. The SLM-TC remains committed to its plans to overthrow the regime in order to build a stable Sudan, Idris told Sudan Tribune. The SRF is not a party to the AU roadmap, he said. It was signed by each of its members, not by the coalition as such.

Armed struggle, peace talks

The SRF was established in November 11, 2011, by the leaders of the four main armed movements in the country: the Sudan Liberation Movement under the leadership of Abdelwahid El Nur (SLM-AW), the SLM-MM faction, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N).

They declared at the time that they would overthrow the regime of the National Congress Party (NCP) “using all available means”. Two small opposition groups headed by Nasreldin El Hadi El Mahdi and El Tom Hajo became member in 2012. The following year, the eastern Sudanese United People’s Front for Liberation and Justice (UPFLJ), led by Zeinab Kabbashi, joined the coalition.

The SLM-AW withdrew from the SRF, when the coalition opted for a peaceful solution. Its founder and leader Abdelwahid El Nur says he will only join peace negotiations after Khartoum has restored stability and security in Darfur.

The SRF members agreed on the Sudan Call (also referred to as Sudan Appeal), a two-page political communiqué calling for regime-change and democracy, together with representatives of the National Umma Party, the National Consensus Forces (NCF, a coalition of opposition parties), and the Civil Society Initiative. It was signed in Addis Ababa on December 3, 2014. Other Sudanese opposition groups and parties joined the alliance in the following year.

The members of the Sudan Call have met several times with the AU High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) to discuss the ways peace can be reached in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

In an attempt to revive the repeatedly stalled peace negotiations with Khartoum, the AUHIP prepared a roadmap agreement in early 2016. It was signed by the representatives of the Sudanese government in March. The Sudan Call forces however initially refused the document, but did sign it months later, in August.

Rounds of separate peace talks followed between the Sudanese government and the SPLM-N concerning South Kordofan and Blue Nile, and between Khartoum and the Darfuri movements SLM-MM and JEM. Both tracks however failed to reach an agreement.

In July this year, a German initiative to invite the warring parties for “informal consultations” failed as well.


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