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Sudan’s Bashir vows to try al-Mahdi over alliance with rebel groups

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November 30, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese president again warned against alliance with the rebel groups and vowed to try the leader of the opposition National Umma Party (NUP) for the signing of Paris Declaration with the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF).

President Omer al-Bashir speaks to the press in Khartoum on 30 November 2014 (SUNA)

On Sunday, Omer al-Bashir held a press where he talked on national issues including the ongoing negotiations with the rebel groups in Addis Ababa, the national dialogue, constitutional reforms and political freedoms.

Bashir vowed to try the NUP president Sadiq al-Mahdi for his alliance with the rebel SRF groups adding that the opposition leader will be tried according to the law, no more no less”.

He further warned against compromising the morale of the government forces, pointing out that “they are sacrificing their lives for the nation”. He added they would not allow any understandings with the rebels groups fighting the Sudanese army in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan states.

In a speech at the convention of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP), last October, Bashir said Mahdi can only return after renouncing the Paris Declaration, pointing that by signing this declaration he becomes a partner of the rebel groups in their design to overthrow the regime by force.

On 8 August in the French capital, NUP leader signed a deal with the rebel groups providing that a political settlement for the Sudanese crisis is the best option . The declaration calls for a comprehensive solution involving all the political and rebel forces.

The African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) on 5 September signed an identical text on the national dialogue and constitutional process with the SRF rebels and the NUP from one side, and the national dialogue committee from the other side.

The Peace and Security Council of the African Union in a meeting held on 12 September tasked the AUHIP with cessation of hostilities talks between the warring parties, and called Khartoum to implement the confidence-building measures in order to hold an inclusive national dialogue.

Last Thursday, the NCP political secretary Mustafa Osman Ismail called on al-Mahdi to return to Sudan saying the government is ready to admit any wrongdoing against him if investigations prove he “wasn’t involved in conspiracy against Sudan”.

Ismail further said that the government is ready to recognise the Paris Declaration if it is reviewed, pointing that some of its “unjust” dispositions blame the government for the political violence in the country and ignore the actions of the SRF rebels.

Speaking about the AUHIP brokered talks in Addis Ababa, Bashir reiterated that the government will not accept a cessation of hostilities agreement with the rebel groups.

“We will only accept a comprehensive cease fire agreement,” he said.

(ST)

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