Reports reaching Radio Dabanga on Sunday suggested the existence of a confidential dialogue between Sudan’s ruling party and the opposition forces to agree on a transitional authority under the leadership of President Omar Al Bashir.
Informed sources said that the secret contacts “have gone a long way”, expressing hope that they will culminate in a tentative agreement through a dialogue involving the political forces.
However, Yusuf Hussein, the spokesman for the Communist Party denied being associated with any confidential dialogue rumoured to be going on with the government. He told Radio Dabanga that what is going on is a US initiative put forward by former US President Jimmy Carter. Hussein pointed out that his party is not waiting for external initiatives.
He said that national coalition consensus forces and the Communist party had earlier put forward an initiative calling for a constitutional conference. Thus should occur with the participation of all political and military forces as well as civil society organisations. “They should discuss the crisis, and consider a resolution through a transitional government with a national programme. It’s first policy should be to put a stop to the war, find a solution to the Darfur crisis, and steer Sudan through democratic transformation leading to a permanent constitution, free and fair elections and democracy.”
He pointed out that “it was the National Congress Party that rejected this initiative and opted instead for changing faces not policies. We welcoming dialogue but with certain requirements met; the first is that it should be democratic and not behind closed doors. It should also be inclusive dialogue and not just bilateral. It should also be preceded by the extension of freedoms of the press, expression, and political action, so that the dialogue will be owned by the people.”
The heads of the consensus forces held a meeting at the Omdurman home of their leader, former President Ismail Al Azhari on Sunday. They concluded with the decision that there can only be dialogue with the regime subject to number of conditions: the abolition of all laws restricting freedom, release of detainees, hostages, and those sentenced for political reasons, and a stop to the war.
They confirmed that the Sudan Revolutionary Front and all national forces are key players in any coming dialogue. They reject any bilateral dialogue, and require the regime’s prior acknowledgement that the dialogue will lead to a transitional situation; not to prolong the life of the regime nor break up the forces of opposition front, nor to confuse the people.
The meeting also confirmed the consensus forces’ refusal to participate in elections held by the current regime, or in the formulation of a permanent Constitution unless it develops into a new transitional situation.
File photo: Sudan’s President Omar Al Bashir (Olivier Chassot / Unamid)