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Sudan’s opposition accept AU invitation, PCP declines

March 26 - 2015 ADDIS ABABA / KHARTOUM
Chairman of the Sudan Revolutionary Front rebel alliance, Malik Agar (Tomo Kriznar)
Chairman of the Sudan Revolutionary Front rebel alliance, Malik Agar (Tomo Kriznar)

The Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) rebel alliance and the National Umma Party (NUP) have accepted the invitation extended by the AU High-level implementation Panel (AUHIP) for a “pre-dialogue” meeting with the Sudanese government in Addis Ababa on Sunday. The Popular Congress Party (PCP) will not participate.

Malik Agar, SRF chairman and leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), told Radio Dabanga that there are seven agenda items to be discussed, including objectives and a roadmap for the National Dialogue preparatory meetings, decision-taking mechanisms, and a time schedule for the dialogue process.

Regarding the upcoming general election, Agar said that the opposition will recommend its suspension, as they consider the election part and parcel of the National Dialogue. “If the government insists on proceeding with the election in April, it will seriously hamper the pre-dialogue consultations process.”

He added that the detention of Sudan Appeal signatories Faroug Abu Eisa and Dr Amin Mekki Madani, and SPLM-N consultant Farah Ibrahim El Agar “definitely complicates the position of the Sudan Appeal group”.

Confidence-building measures

Sarah Nugdallah, NUP Secretary-General and spokeswoman for the party, stated that the NUP has accepted the African mediation team's invitation without preconditions.

In a statement on Wednesday, the NUP demanded from the government to “confirm its seriousness about the dialogue, and freeze the forthcoming election, abolish the recent constitutional amendments, and drop the charges against Abu Eisa, Madani, and El Agar”.

Nugdallah stated that the allied opposition forces also demand the cessation of hostilities in Darfur, South Kordofan and the Blue Nile, relief access to the war-torn regions, exchange of prisoners, and the monitoring of the cease-fire, as part of confidence-building measures before the National Dialogue preparatory meetings commence.

She warned for “an internationally and regionally supported popular uprising”, in case the ruling party rejects these conditions.

‘No foreign intervention’

The Popular Congress Party (PCP), led by Dr Hassan El Turabi, confirmed the receipt of an invitation from the AUHIP mediation team to participate in the pre-dialogue meeting in Addis.

PCP Foreign Relations Secretary, Bashir Adam Rahama, however, stressed his party's conviction that talks on the National Dialogue should be held within the country. He pointed to earlier “foreign interventions” that failed to bring about successful solutions, saying that the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement led to the secession of South Sudan, and the failure of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur.

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