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Sudan Tribune

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Sudan ruling party declines calls for national conference including rebel groups

August 11, 2012 (KHARTOUM) — The ruling National Congress Party (NCP) has refused an initiative by the Uma National Party (UNP) to hold a national conference for peace in Sudan, the opposition party announced on Saturday.

FILE - Meriam Al-Mahdi is the daughter of the National Umma Party leader al-Sadiq al-Mahdi (AFP)
FILE – Meriam Al-Mahdi is the daughter of the National Umma Party leader al-Sadiq al-Mahdi (AFP)
The UNP calls for a peaceful democratic transition in the country and rejects rebel plans to topple the regime stressing that such attempts would lead to a civil war and dismemberment of the country.

Last week, an UNP delegation was in Kampala to meet rebel groups members of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) to explain the party’s position and to discuss the initiative to hold a conference for a comprehensive peace in Sudan and democratic transition.

Also, the Uma party and the Sudan Liberation Movement of Minni Minnawi signed a memorandum of understanding over constitutional principles, arrangements for Darfur region, the interim period and the relations with South Sudan.

The NCP has shown reservations about the Conference saying it seeks to dismantle the government and the ruling party, said Mariam Al-Mahdi, a UNP leading member in a press conference she held in the Sudanese capital on Saturday.

“The National Congress Party however expressed its readiness for dialogue with the Uma party considering that there is no political crisis requiring such a conference,” she further added.

The opposition figure emphasised that the Uma party seeks to hold an inclusive dialogue with the political parties, armed movements and civil society groups in order to reach a comprehensive agreement to end the current crisis in South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur but also to ensure a democratic transition.

Since the separation of South Sudan in July 2011, the NCP engaged a dialogue with the two main opposition parties, UNP and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in order to forge a coalition government and adopt a new constitution.

The two parties demanded an inclusive conference to end the two wars, discuss the future of the country and form a constituent assembly besides a national union government. The NCP refused their call but continued to offer them to join his government.

The DUP of Mohamed Osman Al-Mirghani joined the NCP government citing threats to the national unity and territorial integrity alluding to the establishment of a rebel alliance backed by Juba.

The Uma party stuck to its initial position but UNP leader Sadiq Al-Mahdi committed himself to not support calls to bring down the regime.

Speaking about UNP visit to Uganda, she said the meetings with the rebels were “promising and encouraging” adding that consultations are underway to determine the date and venue of the conference.

She also underlined that this initiative is not at the expense of the UNP commitments with its allies in the democratic opposition forces who will be involved in the conference.

(ST)