Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sudan’s Dialogue General Assembly to Be Held in October: Dialogue Body
Sudan’s President Omer al-Bashir and his Chadian counterpart Idriss Deby (L) listen to the national anthem during opening session of Sudan National Dialogue conference in Khartoum October 10, 2015. (Photo SUNA)

May 23, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - A member of Sudan’s dialogue committee known as 7+7 has said that the general assembly of the dialogue would be held on October 10th with the participation of the willing political parties and armed groups.

The internal dialogue conference was inaugurated in Khartoum on October 10th, 2015 amid large boycott from the major political and armed opposition.

Member of the 7+7 committee Bishara Gumaa Aru has expected the dialogue general assembly would be held between Eid-ul-Fitr (breaking of the fast) and Eid-ul-Adha (festival of Sacrifice).

He told Sudan Tribune that the general assembly has been delayed to ensure its success, saying the dialogue process would determine the future of Sudan.

“We decided to slow down [the process] in order to make the national dialogue more inclusive,” he said.

The dialogue conference subcommittees has concluded its work and submitted its recommendations to the general secretariat last February in the absence of the major political parties and armed groups.

The recommendations would be presented before the general assembly for final approval.

Aru added that if the holdout groups refused to join the dialogue, “we might hold the general assembly on October 10th with the participation of the willing parties”.

“The general assembly would be held with the participation of those who seek to achieve the national interests not the individual ambitions … dialogue is for the nation not for the sake of the personal interests,” he said.

Political forces members of the opposition alliance National Consensus Forces (NCF) and other parties refuse to take part in the dialogue conference before the creation of a conducive environment and the implementation of specific confidence-building measures provided in a roadmap proposed by the African Union mediation team.

Some significant political parties, such as the National Umma Party, the Reform Now Movement and the Just Peace Forum, that approved the process in the beginning.

But later they suspended their participation, criticizing the government refusal to postpone the general elections and the lack of political freedoms.

Also, the major armed movements in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile refrained from participating in the dialogue conference citing similar demands.


Meanwhile, Aru said the 7+7 committee and the opposition Future Forces of Change (FFC) would hold a third meeting on Tuesday, saying the meeting would discuss ways to make the dialogue more inclusive.

He refused the proposal of the FFC to make the dialogue conference a step towards a more inclusive process, describing it as “incorrect and politically immature”.

In an interview with Sudan Tribune on Friday, FFC political secretary Hassan Rizq said his alliance sees that the outcome of the dialogue conference must be merged with proposals of the holdout opposition in order to reach joint recommendations.

Aru described the dialogue conference as “huge work”, saying the discussions among the participating political parties and armed groups had extended for four months and tackled crucial issues.

He further described the recommendations of the conference as “historic document”, saying they would offer the FFC with several options to join the dialogue.

Aru also said the meeting with the FFC would also discuss ways to ensure the success of the Roadmap Agreement brokered by the African Union mediation.

Last March, the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) and the Sudanese government signed a framework agreement calling to stop war in Blue Nile, Darfur, and South Kordofan and to engage in the national dialogue process.

However, the opposition groups, Justice and Equality Movement, National Umma Party (NUP), Sudan People’s Liberation Movement -North (SPLM-N), and Sudan Liberation Movement-Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) refused the roadmap saying it acknowledges a government controlled dialogue conference and would lead to reproduce the regime.


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