March 29, 2016 (KHARTOUM) – The head of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) Thabo Mbeki will be in Khartoum on Wednesday for further talks with the Sudanese parties on the peace process.
- Mbeki speaks to participants at the inaugral session of Strategic Consultations Meeting in Addis Ababa on 18 March 2016 (AUHIP Photo)
Sudanese Presidential Assistant, Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid who is also the government chief negotiator for the talks on the Two Areas conflict, announced Tuesday evening that Mbeki will arrive Wednesday for talks with the government and the holdout opposition Future Forces of Change (FFC) which accepted to engage discussions with the government on how to join the national dialogue process.
Following the signing of the Roadmap Agreement with the government on 21 March, Mbeki slammed the position of the opposition groups saying they refused to sign it only because of the venue of the dialogue meeting.
He added that some opposition groups accepted to meet the dialogue body to discuss the confidence building measures for an inclusive national dialogue.
Also, the FFC said they intend to discuss with the national dialogue coordination committee ways to bring the opposition forces including the armed groups to join the dialogue inside Sudan.
In statement to Ashorooq TV on Tuesday, Hamid disclosed he had contacts with the U.S. chargé d’affaires in Khartoum and a number of international officials to brief them on the latest developments following the signing of the Roadmap Agreement.
He said Khartoum encourages the efforts of regional and international officials to convince the opposition groups to sign the framework agreement that his government inked with the AUHIP.
He added that the signing of the roadmap foiled opposition calls for a preparatory meeting in Addis Ababa .
The purpose of the pre-dialogue meeting was to seal a cessation of hostilities agreement, allow humanitarian access to the affected war zones, release political prisoners and detainees ensure press and political freedoms in the country.
The roadmap provides to sign a truce and to end the denial of humanitarian access but it acknowledges the dialogue conference the government has launched since last October.
In press statements issued on Tuesday the leader of the National Umma Party (NUP) , Sadiq al-Mahdi, reiterated his rejection of the roadmap, saying it omitted the need to agree on the agenda of the national dialogue before to join the process, besides the confidence building measures.
Al-Mahdi said they will ask the African Union Peace and Security Council to make some changes in the mechanism of the mediation and the United Nations Security Council to issue a resolution on peace and governance in Sudan.
SPLM-N secretary general Yasir Arman recently said the opposition wants the international community be more involved in the mechanism of the AUHIP.