Sudan govt. will only talk with armed movements in Addis

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The AU mediation team consults Sudan opposition leaders in Addis Ababa on 22 August 2015 (AUHIP)

The National Consensus Forces (NCF) have not received an invitation from the AU High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) to meet with the Sudanese government in Addis Ababa on 2 November. The Sudanese government is willing to take part in a preparatory meeting on the National Dialogue, brokered by the AUHIP, yet the meeting should be confined to the rebel movements only.

Tareg Abdelmajeed, the secretary of the NCF coalition of opposition parties said in an interview in Radio Dabanga’s Milafaat Sudaniya on Sunday that they have not received an invitation for a preparatory National Dialogue meeting. He said the NCF will discuss the issue with their allies, the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) rebel alliance and the National Umma Party.

On Tuesday, the Sudanese government said it received an invitation from the AU mediation team to resume peace talks with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) on the Two Areas (South Kordofan and the Blue Nile in the Ethiopian capital on 2 November.

Priorities

However, SPLM-N Secretary-General Yasir Arman told Radio Dabanga last Thursday that they had not yet received an invitation. He said that the priorities of the new negotiation round were still a subject of discussion; whether to start with a preparatory National Dialogue meeting, or a meeting on a cessation of hostilities in the Two Areas.

Arman said the SPLM-N prepared themselves for two scenarios: “We will go to Addis Ababa, where we will demand a comprehensive solution [for all crises in Sudan] until it becomes a major issue on Sudanese, regional, and international agendas.” The rebel movement also plans to discuss a ceasefire in the Two Areas to allow humanitarian organisations access to the war-torn areas. “The issue of the delivery of aid will be presented as a top priority,” he stressed.

Rebels only

On Sunday, the Sudanese government affirmed its readiness to meet with the armed movements in a preparatory meeting for the National Dialogue at any time determined by the AUHIP.

In a press conference in Khartoum, member of the 7+7 National Dialogue Coordination Committee and Assistant to the President Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamed definitively ruled-out any preparatory meeting abroad with opposition parties present in the country. These parties are welcome to join the National Dialogue sessions in Khartoum, he said. The 2 November meeting in Addis Ababa will be restricted to the rebel movements.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Ibrahim Ghandour met with AUHIP chairman Thabo Mbeki last Friday in the Ethiopian capital, to discuss his proposal for holding a pre-dialogue meeting with the armed opposition.

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