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Sudan’s opposition parties shun National Dialogue

October 8 - 2015 KHARTOUM
NUP secretary-general Sara Nugdallah announces her party's withdrawal from the National Dialogue 7+7 Committee, 20 May 2014 (Courtesy of NUP)
NUP secretary-general Sara Nugdallah announces her party's withdrawal from the National Dialogue 7+7 Committee, 20 May 2014 (Courtesy of NUP)

The National Umma Party (NUP) and the National Consensus Forces (NCF, a coalition of opposition parties) will not participate in the National Dialogue, to be launched in Khartoum on Saturday.

In a statement on Wednesday, the NUP said that in accordance with the decision of the AU Peace and Security Council in its 539th meeting on 26 August, the Dialogue should be preceded by a preparatory meeting at the AU headquarters in the Ethiopian capital under auspices of the AU high-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP). This is to be followed by a broad constitutional national convention.

NUP Secretary-General Sara Nugdallah told Radio Dabanga in an interview on Wednesday that she wonders how the Sudanese regime can call for a dialogue, while it has increased its repression on all civic freedoms. “Less than a week before the start of the National Dialogue, opposition leaders were banned from travelling abroad and their passports were taken.”

She said that before the NUP could consider participating, the government should prove its seriousness about the Dialogue by stopping the wars, allow the delivery of humanitarian relief to the conflict zones through safe corridors, restore all civic freedoms in the country, respect human rights, and release all the political detainees in the country.

Nugdallah further stressed the importance of holding the Dialogue under the auspices of “a neutral body”, preferably the AUHIP.

“The Dialogue should not be dominated by any Sudanese party, and no one should be excluded. All participants should be given the necessary guarantees and the freedom to give their all to the issues on the table, chaired by the AUHIP.

“The Umma Party will never get tired of its call for a comprehensive solution to the Sudanese crises, for a just and comprehensive peace and democracy, to be reached in democratically and peacefully,” she stated.

Media-stunt’

The opposition parties allied in the National Consensus Forces (NCF) have also declined to participate in the National Dialogue.

“The planned regime-regime dialogue is nothing more than a media-stunt, to fool the Sudanese population and the international community,” Dr Mohamed Mahjoub, head of the Liberal Unionists’ Party, told Radio Dabanga.

“It will not lead to any positive results, but will only produce more crises and further isolation of the government. The various crises in the country have become chronic, causing panic among the rulers, who fear a popular uprising if things do not change soon.”

According to Mahjoub the oppression and intimidation carried out by Khartoum have become “futile” to the Sudanese. “They are now ready to make any sacrifice to remove this regime.”


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