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“Sudan Call” groups in Germany for talks on peace and national dialogue


February 24, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – Delegations from the Sudanese political and armed opposition forces arrived on Tuesday to the German capital Berlin where they will participate on Wednesday in a consultations meeting to "encourage" peace and democratic reforms in Sudan.

The German foreign ministry in Berlin (Photo courtesy of the DPA)

Since last year, a German institution for conflict resolution, the Berghof Foundation (BF), a foreign ministry think tank Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP), supported by the German government organised several meetings in Berlin with the Sudanese government and rebel groups to discuss ways to bring peace in Sudan.

Wednesday meeting gathers for the first time all the signatories of the “Sudan Call”, including the alliance of National Consensus Forces (NCF), National Umma Party (NUP), the rebel umbrella of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) and civil society groups.

In a press statement released in Khartoum on Tuesday, the German embassy said the meeting aims to “exchange perspectives and suggestions relating to peace and national dialogue”.

The purpose of this meeting is to build up a “constructive position amongst the opposition -inside and outside Sudan- on the resolution of the Sudanese crisis” and to “find ways to create a new momentum for a peaceful solution to the conflicts in Sudan,” the statement adds.

NCF spokesperson Abu Bakr Youssef said that the delegation of the opposition parties left Khartoum in the early morning of Tuesday heading to the German capital.

However, the NUP deputy-chairman Merriam al-Mahdi said she was prevented by the Sudanese security service at the Khartoum airport from taking the flight pretexting that as a doctor she had to get a special permission from the ministry of health.

Al-Mahdi said the opposition delegation included other practitioners but she was the only one to barred from travelling to Germany.

The NUP leader Sadiq al-Mahdi flew from Cairo to participate in the three-day meeting which is expected to end on Friday.

A delegation of SRF groups also arrived in Berlin.

On 6 December, the Sudanese security service arrested NCF leader Farouk Abu Issa and a prominent human rights activist, Amin Mekki Madani for signing the “Sudan Call” with SRF groups in Addis Ababa three days before.

The NUP leader Sadiq al-Mahdi is residing in the Egyptian capital since last August after the signing of Paris Declaration with rebel alliance.

The statement of the German embassy pointed that the meeting is “coordinated with, and supported by, all relevant regional and international bodies concerned with peace-making efforts in Sudan”.

At the end of last November, the head of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), Thabo Mbeki signed a strategic partnership agreement with the German foreign ministry.

The Sudanese government refuses to acknowledge the “Sudan Call” and calls the opposition parties to join the national dialogue process and to stop contacts with the rebel groups.

On the other side before to join the dialogue process, the political and armed opposition forces demand the signing of a comprehensive humanitarian cessation of hostilities, to release political freedoms in the country and to postpone general elections.


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