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Sudan's rebel leaders mock speech of Al Bashir

August 23 - 2015 ADDIS ABABA
SLM leader Minni Minawi (Unamid)
SLM leader Minni Minawi (Unamid)

The amnesty for armed rebel groups which wish to participate in the country's national dialogue and a two-month ceasefire in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, declared by President Al Bashir last Thursday, are “sheer lies”, according to leaders of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) rebel alliance.

Minni Arko Minnawi, head of the Sudan Liberation Movement-MM and co-vice president of the SRF described Al Bashir’s declaration of a general amnesty for the armed movements as “a just another lie by the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) that started as the National Salvation Regime 26 years ago”.

He described the speech of the Sudanese president during the meeting of the National Dialogue mechanism's general assembly last Thursday as unacceptable. “This storm in a teacup only aims to deceive the international community and to gain time.”

Minawi told Radio Dabanga that a ceasefire process should follow internationally agreed standards. “It can be decided on for humanitarian purposes, for purposes of negotiations, or after a certain political process. The process is supposed to be discussed at the negotiating platform in Addis Ababa under the auspices of the AU. The negotiations must concentrate on a comprehensive solution to the crises of Sudan and the formation of a transitional government.

“You can not seek cure from a snake that has bitten you.”

“This transitional government should then decide on a national dialogue process, and not President Al Bashir and his party, who are responsible for the secession of South Sudan, genocide, the economic and humanitarian crises and the moral and political collapse in the country. You can not seek cure from a snake that has bitten you.”

Neutral body needed

For his part, Dr Jibril Ibrahim, leader of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and co-vice-president of the SRF also mocked the president's speech, and called the amnesty Al Bashir declared as worthless.

“All the Sudanese know that any talk of the Sudanese president or decisions by the NCP regime cannot be trusted. They never keep to their promises,” he told Radio Dabanga. “In 2010, for instance, Al Bashir announced the release of all JEM detainees. Some of them have been released and the rest have been kept hostages until the present day.”

“The NCP should be a party to the National Dialogue, not the owner who decides on everything,” Ibrahim said. “A neutral body, and not the ruling party is then to implement the dialogue’s outputs.”

He said that the opposition forces “asked from the beginning about the basics of the dialogue process. Who will chair the meetings, what will be the themes, the time frame, and the conditions for decision-making, which can only be formulated by a neutral platform.

“The NCP and its affiliates planned the dialogue to realise their own purposes only,” he added.

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