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‘Sudan’s armed groups must join reconciliation’

March 14, 2017 at 11:38 pm

Sudanese rebels [Kalou Kaka/Wikipedia]

Armed groups must abandon violence and disarm to unite behind the National Government of Reconciliation, Sudan’s political leaders said yesterday.

The call came days after the Prime Minister General Bakri Hassan Saleh held consultative meetings at the Council of Ministers to recommend political leaders to be included and appointed by President Omar Al-Bashir to the new cabinet.

The creation of a Prime Minister’s office, the appointment of a cabinet and the recent release and pardoning of 259 political prisoners are a culmination of a two-year National Dialogue process which ended in September 2015 and is a response to the demands made by opposition groups.

Speaking at Zubeir Mohammed Saleh arena in Khartoum yesterday to mainly university students at a conference attended by prominent political parties, Dr. Tijani Sese, leader of the National Liberation and Justice Party and Chairman of the Darfur regional Authority said: “Sudan’s political parties had to help bring about a permanent constitution that was comprehensive and would be capable of meeting the challenges of the future.”

Sese expressed optimism about the political process but stressed the need for tangible results and visible improvements.

The new era of politics in Sudan has to resolve political differences, introduce reforms and lead to changes in foreign policy.

Political spokesman for the party, Bushara Jumma, said the forthcoming National Government of Reconciliation should be inclusive of all groups and should address fundamental issues facing the average Sudanese citizen. “We have to make every effort to bring opposing forces on board with the reconciliation that has been agreed by the political forces and blessed by the Sudanese people,” he stressed.

Good will gesture

Armar Bashiry, from the ruling National Congress party, said that improving standards of living must be the main priority for the new Sudanese government and that armed groups must respond to reason and fall in line with the march to reconciliation, “We need to build a peaceful and secure nation with dignity,” he said.

Sudan is engaged in an armed conflict with the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement/North rebels in Southern Kordofan state. Despite the release of 127 government soldiers, last week as a good will gesture, a formal agreement to end the violence has not been reached.

More support for the reconciliation process was also voiced by Dr. Amin Abdur Razak, from the leadership of the Popular Congress party, who described the peace process as, “a programme of complete reform”. The party which will hold its annual general conference this month is expected to strongly endorse the efforts of the new government which may include at least one of its leadership in prominent positions.

According to PNC political spokesman, Kamal Omar, no indication has been given of what positions would be given. However, he revealed that the party had created a special committee that would respond to any announcements made by the government.

The final selection of the new cabinet to be appointed by the president is now expected to be announced within the next 15 days.