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Opposition alliance rejects Mbeki’s proposal to amend Sudan’s peace roadmap agreement

Sadiq al-Mahdi (C) poses for a picture with Sudan armed groups in Paris after his election as a chair of the opposition alliance on 17 March 2018 (ST photo)
October 5, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The opposition alliance Sudan Call rejected a proposal extended by the African Union mediation to amend a roadmap for peace in the country agreed two-and-a-half years ago and reaffirmed its adherence to the initial plan which provides to hold an inclusive national dialogue prepared with the support of the mediators.

in August 2016, the Sudan Call forces signed a framework agreement with the Sudanese government brokered by the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP). The deal indicates all the steps to be taken to end war and to restore a democratic rule in Sudan.

The opposition groups at the time appended their signature for five months after the government until they received formal reassurances from the mediation about a number of confidence-building measures the African Union Peace and Security Council adopted in its meeting 456 of September 2014. These measures include among others the release of political detainees and restoration of public freedoms.

In a recent letter to the leader of the opposition umbrella Sadiq al-Mahdi on 25 September 2018, AUHIP Chair Thabo Mbeki proposed to engage directly in the constitutional process, putting aside the creation of a conducive environment and a preparatory meeting outside Sudan for a comprehensive national dialogue that should be followed by the constitutional conference.

In a press statement issued on Friday 4 October, the Sudan Call regretted that the Mbeki’s proposal circumvented the roadmap agreement and abandoned the preparatory meeting and the confidence building measures.

The opposition alliance stressed that accepting this proposal means accepting the outcome of the regime’s dialogue conference, engaging directly in the drafting of a new constitution and participating in the elections of 2020.

"After consultations between the heads of all components of the Sudan Call, a response was prepared to be sent through the Chairperson of the alliance, reaffirming the commitment of the Sudan Call to the (initial) Road Map Agreement which is based on the resolutions of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union adopted at its at its 456th, 539th meetings".

The two resolutions calls on the Sudanese parties to cease hostilities in Darfur and the Two Areas, allow humanitarian access, hold a preparatory meeting in at the headquarters of the African union to discuss relevant process issues paving the way for the national dialogue process.

Sources close to the Sudan Call said the Sudanese opposition considers Mbeki’s proposal as a huge setback casting doubts on the credibility of the mediation as it clearly sides the declared position of the government in Khartoum.

"The regime’s lack of true will for change is the main obstacle to reaching a comprehensive and just political solution to the crises in the country," said the opposition alliance.

"The Sudan Call will not be part of the play of false change and superficial beautification of the regime, and will work to escalate the peaceful popular struggle," the opposition further stressed.

(ST)