Sudan opposition, rebels set conditions for dialogue

They called for an interim government and a new elections law.

Sudan opposition, rebels set conditions for dialogue

World Bulletin / News Desk

A coalition of Sudanese opposition political forces and an alliance of armed factions opposed to President Omar al-Bashir on Tuesday set preconditions for accepting the latter's recent invitation to engage in dialogue.

At a joint press conference, the National Consensus Forces (NCF) and the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) declared that a constitutional process and a comprehensive peace deal both required serious trust-building measures to foster a political climate conducive to dialogue.

"There should be an agreement on a clear roadmap that result in forming a transitional government to undertake the outcomes of the dialogue," according to a joint statement read out at the press conference.

The two umbrella groups said the proposed interim government should organize and hold a constitutional conference – bringing together all Sudanese political and social forces, without exception – to discuss pressing national issues and establish general guidelines for a permanent national charter.

They also called for a new elections law to guarantee free and fair democratic elections following the transitional period.

The joint statement, co-signed by NCF Chairman Farouq Abu Eissa and SRF leader Malik Aggar, also called for an independent entity to manage the proposed dialogue.

On Sunday, al-Bashir vowed to allow the country's political forces to practice their activities freely. He also ordered the release of all political detainees who had not been convicted for a criminal offence.

The Sudanese leader also offered guarantees to the leaders of the rebel group in hopes of persuading them to enter the proposed talks.

The decisions were taken at a meeting of the leaders of several opposition parties, including Umma Party leader Al-Sadeq al-Mahdi, Popular Congress head Hassan al-Turabi, and reformer Ghazi Salahudeen, who defected from the ruling party last October.

The NCF is a coalition of 17 political parties, including the Sudanese Communist Party, the Ba'ath Party, the Umma Party and the Congress Party.

The SRF alliance, for its part, brings together major rebel groups from Sudan's restive Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile regions. These include both the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army and the Justice and Equality Movement.

Sudan has remained on edge since the government announced a raft of austerity measures last September, including a major reduction of fuel subsidies.

The move aimed to rein in a widening budget deficit and curb government spending.

Several people were killed in subsequent protests against the measures that erupted countrywide.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Nisan 2014, 10:48