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Sudan’s opposition NCF says it was not invited to Addis Ababa meeting

August 17, 2015 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s opposition alliance of the National Consensus Forces (NCF) said it has not received an invitation to attend the upcoming meeting between the political and armed opposition on the one hand and the African Union High Implementation Panel (AUHIP).

AUHIP head Thabo Mbeki chairs a meeting with of the government (R) and rebel delegations on 30 November 2014 (Courtesy photo/ AUHIP)

On Sunday, the Secretary-General of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement -North (SPLM) Yasir Arman, disclosed that the opposition Sudan Call forces have been invited by the head of the AUHIP Thabo Mbeki to participate in a two-day consultations meeting in Addis Ababa on 21-22 August.

He stressed that all opposition factions members of the Sudan Call including political forces and armed groups will be represented in this consultations meeting, adding that it was agreed with the AUHIP team that 15 delegates of the opposition forces will participated in the discussions with the chief mediator.

However, the NCF political committee said in a statement on Monday said the opposition alliance has not received an invitation from the AUHIP.

“We clearly stated the NCF’s position towards the dialogue and its requirement to the AUHIP, and we only care about full implementation of the prerequisites which would result in a productive and fruitful dialogue leading up to dismantling the regime”, the statements reads

The statement further said the NCF would consider any invitation given that it is received well ahead of time in order to agree on the agenda of the meeting.

The opposition forces refuse to join the dialogue and demand the implementation of the confidence building measures included in the African Union roadmap as the stopping of the war, release of political detainees, ensuring political and press freedoms and freedom of expression.

But the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and the political forces participating in the dialogue say they wouldn’t accept any prerequisites and that all issues must be brought to the negotiating table.

Last March, the government refused to participate in a meeting to discuss the necessary procedures and steps before to hold the dialogue process inside the country.

Ever since, the opposition forces have demanded that the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) gives a clear mandate for the chief mediator to organize the process and to involve the international community.

(ST)