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UN Secretary-General calls on opposition to sign AU Roadmap

March 29 - 2016 NEW YORK
The head of the Sudanese government delegation, Ibrahim Mahmoud, and AUHIP chairman Thabo Mbeki sign the Roadmap Agreement in Addis Ababa on 21 March 2016. The opposition parties refused to sign. (RD)
The head of the Sudanese government delegation, Ibrahim Mahmoud, and AUHIP chairman Thabo Mbeki sign the Roadmap Agreement in Addis Ababa on 21 March 2016. The opposition parties refused to sign. (RD)

UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, has welcomed the signing of the Roadmap Agreement, proposed by the AU High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), by the Government of Sudan in Addis Ababa on 21 March 2016.

In a press statement today, the Secretary-General welcomes the latest initiative of the AUHIP mediation team to bring together the Sudanese government, the National Umma Party (NUP), the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), and the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Minni Minawi (SLM-MM), “to reach an agreement on a cessation of hostilities, humanitarian access and assistance, and an inclusive National Dialogue process”.

He calls on the government “to fully abide by the Agreement and urges the other parties to sign it, as well.

“This would constitute a valuable step towards ending the war, providing assistance to communities in need, and enhancing the environment for an inclusive national dialogue,” the statement reads.

'Consutative meeting'

AUHIP invited the Sudanese government, the holdout rebel movements and the National Umma Party (NUP) to Addis Ababa on 18 March, in an attempt to break the impasse on the peace negotiations on Darfur and the Two Areas (South Kordofan and Blue Nile) and the opposition’s participation in the National Dialogue.

On the second day of the “strategic consultative meeting”, Chief Mediator Thabo Mbeki presented the warring parties the text of a roadmap regarding the accords to be agreed on to achieve peace in the country and the participation in the Dialogue.

The government delegation and Mbeki signed the document. The opposition groups refused, accusing the AU mediator of siding with Khartoum.

The leader of the NUP, El Sadig El Mahdi, commented on Thursday that “the AU mediator could have waited for two or three days in order to look into our demands and reservations regarding three items in the document. He did not clarify the issues.

Deadline

On the same day, AU Commission Chairwoman Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma praised the Sudanese government for signing the Roadmap Agreement, and called on the other parties to sign by 28 March so as to push the political process for resolving the multiple conflicts in the country.

Dlamini-Zuma also called on the parties who have not yet signed the agreement “to desist from making any unhelpful public statements, so as to avoid jeopardising what they have committed to achieving; namely lasting peace in Sudan”.


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