Sudanese opposition sticks to demand for inclusive pre-dialogue meeting: Arman

March 20, 2016 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-N) disclosed that the “Sudan Call” forces have rejected government proposal to substitute the ongoing Strategic Consultations Meeting for the pre-national dialogue meeting.

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Yasir Arman (Reuters file Photo)

Sudanese government and “Sudan call” forces including the National Umma Party (NUP) and three armed groups; SPLM-N, Sudan Liberation Movement – Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) are currently taking part in a Strategic Consultations Meeting under the auspices of the African mediation in Addis Ababa to discuss the way forward to end armed conflicts and the participation of the holdout group in a national conference for a new constitution.

SPLM-N Secretary General Yasir Arman told Sudan Tribune Sunday that the major obstacle to the peaceful solution in Sudan is that the Sudanese government and the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) have not yet made a strategic decision to end the war and accept the comprehensive peaceful solution and the democratic transformation.

“The government is scrambling to achieve a military solution such as what is ongoing in the Blue Nile, Nuba Mountains and (Darfur’s area of) Jebel Marra. It has emptied the national dialogue process from its content. What is going on in Khartoum is nothing but an attempt to reproduce the regime. It became clear to us that a comprehensive solution is only possible by changing the balance of power in the country,” he said.

He pointed to the full coordination among the “Sudan Call” forces participating in the consultative meeting, saying they handed over the African mediation a unified negotiating position demanding equal and comprehensive dialogue.

“The four forces [of the Sudan Call] called for holding a comprehensive pre-dialogue meeting in Addis Ababa that would enable the regime to present the outcome of the internal dialogue and the “Sudan Call”, and other opposition forces to reflect its vision for an equal dialogue. However, it is clear that the regime wouldn’t accept the pre-dialogue meeting unless it is being pressured by the popular uprising and armed work,” he added.

Arman added that the “Sudan Call” forces refused a proposal made by the government delegation to substitute the pre-dialogue meeting by the Strategic Consultations Meeting and to hold a meeting for the opposition inside Sudan to join the “fake” internal dialogue.

He underscored that the four “Sudan Call” forces participating in the Strategic Consultations Meeting didn’t hold any separate meetings with the government delegation. He added that they only took part in the opening session of the meeting in the presence of the government delegation.

SPLM-N Secretary General pointed that the government maintains its denial for separate talks on the humanitarian access to civilians in the conflicts affected areas from the political agenda.

The SPLM-N had earlier demanded from the African mediation to separate the humanitarian and political discussions and to focus on the first file. However, the government insists on the need to reach ceasefire agreement first, emphasizing that the only way to allow humanitarian access is to sign a peace deal.

Arman said the Strategic Consultations Meeting gained attention from international envoys. He added the “Sudan Call” forces discussed with them ways to support the African Union High Implementation Panel (AUHIP) which brokers Sudan’s peace process and involve additional regional and international partners in the process.

He pointed to the “regime’s miscalculations”, saying Khartoum is seeking to “gain a livelihood’ from its participation in the Saudi-led war in Yemen and the influx of illegal immigrants into Europe, besides offering its services to combat terrorism, while it is simultaneously sending weapons secretly to the Islamic groups in Libya.

Arman further pointed to popular mobilization inside Sudan, mentioning issues of water dams, Darfur referendum, freedoms and the widening war across Sudan.

EXPANDING THE “SUDAN CALL”

Meanwhile, Arman said the opposition forces participating in the Strategic Consultations Meeting have agreed to embark on preparations to hold a final and decisive meeting for the “Sudan Call” forces.

He disclosed that the meeting aims at developing and expanding the “Sudan Call” charter, approve the organizational structure and program of the opposition alliance.

“We would either expand the “Sudan Call” or launch [a new alliance] including those who seek to achieve that expansion,” he said.

Arman added that the opposition wouldn’t open its doors for everyone, saying the forces which bore the brunt of opposing the regime besides the forces who seek change must unite in a solid core and coordinate with the all opposition forces.

The rebel leader pointed to those who question the opposition’s ability to make the change in Sudan, saying “we would confront the regime and make change and he who doubts that must read the names of our martyrs”.

“And we will follow their path in opposing the regime and we wouldn’t compromise the right of our people to change [the regime],” he added.

On December 3rd 2014, Sudanese political and armed opposition forces and civil society organizations signed the “Sudan Call” accord in Addis Ababa calling for ending the war, dismantlement of the one-party state, achievement of a comprehensive peace and democratic transition in the country.

(ST)

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