The National Consensus Forces (NCF) and the Sudan Revolutionary Front (RSF) have welcomed a national dialogue as proposed by President Omar Al Bashir, under the condition that the dialogue will be inclusive, and will lead to “real change”.
In a joint statement issued on Tuesday, signed by Faroug Abu Eisa, chairman of the NCF, a coalition of opposition parties, and Malik Agar, the president of the SRF, an alliance of armed movements, the forces stress the importance of “an independent mechanism to administer a national dialogue between all parties, and to identify the actions and time required for a serious, productive, and responsible dialogue”.
The NCF-SRF statement points the need to agree on a clear roadmap for “transitional arrangements, including the establishment of a transitional government to implement the decisions reached in the dialogue”. “This transitional government is to convene a constitutional conference, in which all political and social forcesandnbsp;participate, without exclusion, to discuss all the political, economic and social problems of the nation, and agree on an outline for a comprehensive solution. In this conference, indicators for a permanent constitution are to be agreed on, the methods of drafting and approval. A democratic election bill is to be developed for fair elections that are to be held at the end of the transitional period.”
NCF chairman Abu Eisa told the press that the cooperation of SRF and the NCF will continue until they have reached their joint programme “that will benefit all the people of Sudan”.
The political parties united in the NCF had boycotted the consultative meeting on a broad national dialogue, organised in Khartoum on Sunday by the ruling National Congress Party. At the onset of this meeting, Al Bashir announced a series of presidential resolutions involving freedom of activities for all political parties, press freedom, and the release of political detainees.
The chairman of the NCF’s Information Committee and prominent SCP leader, Siddig Yusif, commented in a press conference on Tuesday at the SCP’s headquarters in Khartoum that the Sudanese government is not serious about the dialogue and the provision of a conducive climate. “On the eve ofandnbsp;President Al Bashir’s address about the national dialogue to the parliament on Monday, a number of activists were arrested. On Tuesday morning, the print run of El Midan newspaper was confiscated again.”
Yusif noted that after Al Bashir’s announcement of his resolutions, “only five detainees were released: Abdel Aziz El Tom, Mohamed Salah, Abdel Munim Adam El Tom, Ghazi El Rayeh El El Sanhouri, and Salih Ibrahim.”
“Yet a number of activists remain behind bars, including journalist and blogger Tajeldin Arja, besides about 20 people who were arrested during the 2013 September protests by the security forces. Members of the Justice and Equality Movement have been sentenced for political reasons to periods ranging between 5 and 20 years.”
File photo: Faroug Abu Eisa, chairman of the NCF