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Cairo meeting is mere public relations exercise: Sudan’s armed groups

August 11, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The spokesman for the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) Sunday said that the participation of the Forces for Freedom and Change delegation in Cairo meetings is merely a public relations exercise pointing that the team has no mandate to respond to their demands.

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SRF Sopkesperson Mohamed Zakaria (ST photo)

At the invitation of the Egyptian government, the political and armed groups of the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) started consultation meetings in Cairo on the SRF rejection of the interim constitutional declaration as they demand the inclusion of a text ensuring the primacy of peace agreements over the constitution.

In remarks to Sky News Arabia on Sunday, Mohamed Zakaria, SRF spokesman said that the FFC delegation told them at the beginning of the meeting on Sunday that they do not have a mandate to amend the transitional constitutional declaration.

"What is happening in Cairo is merely a public relations exercise no more," he said before to call for "practical steps to include the Addis Ababa agreement in the constitutional declaration."

Zakaria questioned the possibility of fulfilling the promises made by the political forces to include everything agreed upon with them in the would-be negotiated peace agreement in the interim constitution and to implement it.

Referring to their demand to postpone the formation of the transitional government, he further said they were ready to sign a cessation of hostilities in less than a month and join the transitional institutions, especially since the military council, which will discuss security arrangements with them, does not object.

For his part, an FFC leading member Abdel -Rahman al-Amin said that the task of the political delegation participating in the Cairo meetings is to give assurances to the SRF forces of its commitment to the inclusion of peace agreements in the Constitution.

He added that the leader of the National Umma Party and the head of the Sudan Call alliance which include the SRF, Sadiq al-Mahdi, had sent a message to the armed groups, stressing their commitment to the Addis Ababa agreement. He noted that the FFC have a majority of 67 per cent in the parliament through which they can achieve this request.

The FFC meetings are expected to end on Monday, as the signing ceremony of the political agreement and the constitutional declaration are scheduled for 17 August.

For his part, Yassir Arman, deputy head of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (Agar) said that the Cairo meetings are going in a healthy atmosphere.

"The meetings were intended to complement the constitutional document, not to detract from it," he said.

It should be noted that the FFC added most of what is contained in the Addis Ababa document on peace to the constitutional declaration, except a text saying that peace agreements prevail over the constitution to ensure their implementation.

(ST)