Hassan Osman Rizig, the Deputy President of the Reform Now Movement (RNM) says that Omar Al Bashir’s capacity as President of the Republic and President of the National Congress Party prevents him from being the chairman of any dialogue with the opposition. He can however a sponsor such a dialogue.
Speaking in an interview with Radio Dabanga, Rizig said that “no one demands that the dialogue should be held outside Sudan. However, it is required that all of the Sudanese spectrum should meet to develop a road map”. He added that it is the right of the opposition abroad that has thus far not participated in its development.
Rizig: “No one has said that Thabo Mbeki [AU High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) chairman] or anyone else from the high-level mechanism should be the chairperson for the upcoming dialogue. This can be left to an independent and impartial figure to be agreed upon.”
He added that the current government position will harm the national dialogue; in the event that the external opposition does not find sufficient guarantees, it will not engage in a dialogue that must be transparent and comprehensive.
Rizig described the current dialogue that the government wants as “representing only the government, the parties that cooperate with it and exercise opposition upon request, or the other parties signatory to the agreements with the government”.
He pointed out that to the freedom of activities of the political parties is one of the main requirements for the national dialogue. He said his movement has tested President Omar Al Bashir’s decisions to allow parties to hold their activities inside and outside their headquarters. They have applied for permits to address masses outside the party headquarters but have been denied the opportunity to do so. He added that last Thursday, a number of the members of the party were arrested.