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News and Press ReleasesSudan Appeal signatories ready to discuss dialogue in Addis

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Sudan Appeal signatories ready to discuss dialogue in Addis

03-03-2015, 03:26 PM
Radio Dabanga
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Sudan Appeal signatories ready to discuss dialogue in Addis

    03:26 PM Mar, 03 2015
    Sudanese Online
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    March 2 - 2015 BERLIN
    Opposition leaders pose for the camera after signing the Berlin position paper on 27 February 2015 (Dabanga)
    Opposition leaders pose for the camera after signing the Berlin position paper on 27 February 2015 (Dabanga)

    The Sudanese government announced that it does not recognise the “Berlin declaration”, as the position paper on the National Dialogue, signed by opposition forces in the German capital last Friday, has come to be known. The German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, however, confirmed the Sudanese government’s commitment to participate in a meeting preparing for a broad national dialogue in Addis Ababa, under the auspices of the AU High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP). The opposition forces expressed their satisfaction about the proceedings.

    The Information Minister, Ahmed Bilal Osman, commented on Friday that the latest opposition document will not affect the National Dialogue process, and the upcoming elections. He renewed his call to “all political parties and forces in Sudan to join the ongoing National Dialogue”, and expressed his government’s determination to “carry out the will of the Sudanese people by holding the elections, to which they are constitutionally entitled”. The opposition forces have repeatedly called for a postponement of Sudan’s general elections, scheduled to take place in April.

    The German Foreign Ministry’s Institute for International and Security Affairs and the Berghof Foundation invited the Sudanese opposition forces to Berlin last week to streamline their position on the National Dialogue, as proposed by President Omar Al Bashir in January last year.

    Preliminary meetings

    Dr Johannes Lehner, responsible for the Sudan file at the German Foreign Ministry, expressed his satisfaction about the opposition’s reaching of a unified position on the national dialogue in an interview with Dabanga.

    “We have succeeded in bringing together the signatories of the Sudan Appeal with the consent of the government in Khartoum. In the past, members of the National Consensus Forces were not allowed to leave the country, to participate in a forum like this one, and freely discuss their stances”.

    “The next step will be the invitation by the AUHIP chairman, Thabo Mbeki, to all stakeholders to participate in the preliminary National Dialogue meetings in Addis Ababa.”

    He said that the German Foreign Ministry had notified the Sudanese authorities about the forum in advance, and confirmed the government’s willingness to participate in a meeting in preparation for a genuine national dialogue.

    “The next step will be the invitation by the AUHIP chairman, Thabo Mbeki, to all stakeholders to participate in the preliminary National Dialogue meetings in Addis Ababa.”

    Just peace

    The chairman of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF, an alliance of the main rebel movements), Malik Agar, told Dabanga that all participants of the Berlin forum agreed to participate in the preliminary dialogue, in preparation for a comprehensive dialogue to be held in Addis Ababa, “in due time”.

    He explained that the Berlin position paper consists of two parts. “The first part stresses the need for reaching a just peace in the country and the resolution of all issues through a peaceful dialogue, while the second part involves the revival of a broad national dialogue, with the support of the international community and AUHIP.”

    Road map

    In an interview with Dabanga, to be broadcast today, El Sadig El Mahdi, leader of the National Umma Party, said that the forum has brought the opposition “a step forwards in reaching our goal, a democratic Sudan, after the Khartoum regime has been destroying the social fabric in the country for a quarter of a century”.

    “The regime led by Al Bashir is responsible for six war fronts, in addition to an increase of intertribal clashes that led to ten fronts where tribes are fighting each other. The devastating policies of the Khartoum regime have led to foreign mediation,” El Mahdi said, pointing to nearly 20 agreements signed by the government and its opponents in the past, “all under auspices of foreign entities”.

    “The allied opposition forces have now enforced the road map for the solution of the country’s crises. If the response is serious and sincere, the wars in Sudan could be ended immediately. The road map opens the way for a democratic Sudan, with a broad-based government, respecting all Sudanese, regardless of their ethnic, cultural, or social background.”

    'Safety valve'

    The secretary-general of the Sudanese Communist Party, Mukhtar El Khateeb, described the outcomes of the Berlin forum as “a big step towards the unification of the opposition forces, which is the only way to topple the Khartoum regime and radically change the policies in the country”.

    “Sudan is on the verge of an intifada. All factors for a popular uprising are there.”

    El Khateeb said that the Sudanese are currently living in internal and external isolation. “Sudan is on the verge of an intifada. All factors for a popular uprising are there, as the Sudanese cannot continue to live in a country that is destroyed by its own government. People have begun to organise themselves, in protest against the deplorable conditions they are forced to live in. As a result of this situation, the opposition needed to unify their positions, to form a coherent leadership for the masses, in order to change the regime.”

    Dr Babiker Ahmed Hassan, who signed the Berlin position paper on behalf of the Sudanese civil society, also emphasised the importance of a unified opposition. “The unification of standpoints is a safety valve to bring the desired change. We Sudanese need to agree on peaceful means in order to reach the desired results.”

    Conducive environment

    El Rayeh Mahmoud Juma, deputy head of the Sudan Liberation Movement, led by Minni Minawi, stressed to Dabanga that “certain conditions must be met before participating in the dialogue, such as the restoration of civil and political freedoms and the release of all political detainees, in order to create a conducive climate for a broad dialogue”. 

    El Sadig El Mahdi (L), Johannes Lehner (C), and Malik Agar (R) after the signing of the Berlin position paper (Dabanga)

     

    Sudan's opposition leaders sign the Berlin position paper, 27 February 2015 (Dabanga)




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