4 African Presidents attend conclusion of Sudan National Dialogue confab

omarThe National Dialogue Conference in Sudan has been concluded with wide participation of representatives from Sudanese political parties, civil society organisations and Darfur Armed Movement.

In attendance were Presidents of Chad, the Chair of AU, Mauritania, Chair of Arab League, Egypt, Uganda, the Secretary General of Arab league and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, among other senior officials from the region and beyond.

The general assembly of the national dialogue conference on Sunday held a procedural meeting, chaired by President Omar Al-Bashir, approved the final national document of the dialogue which will be the base for the country’s permanent constitution.

The document was signed by the heads of the Sudanese political parties participating in the dialogue, while other political forces signed it on Monday before the concluding session.

In January 2014, President Al-Bashir declared an initiative calling on opposition parties and armed groups to join a national dialogue to agree on how to attain lasting political stability and equitable sustainable development in the country.

The sessions of the dialogue kicked off in October 2015 with the participation of a number of Sudanese political parties, civil society organisations and some Darfur armed groups.

Meanwhile, President Al-Bashir on Sunday disclosed that he had a phone conversation with Sadiq Al-Mahdi the leader of the opposition National Umma Party (NUP) in which he urged him to join the government-led national dialogue.

In his address before the procedural session on Sunday, President Al-Bashir said he spoke with Al-Mahdi just moments before the outset of the session, noting he told him that “your natural place should be among the participants in the dialogue”.

This phone conversation is considered the first of its kind since Al-Mahdi left the country in August 2014 after he suspended his participation in the dialogue and forged a new alliance with the armed opposition Sudan Revolutionary Forces (SRF).

Addressing the concluding session, President Al-Bashir announced extension of the cease fire the government declared earlier this year in South Kordufan, Blue Nile and Darfur till the end of the year.

He also pointed out all political and armed groups who did not take part in the conference are welcome to sign the document passed by the conference if they wish.

A government of National Consensus will be formed within three months with the creation of a post for Prime Minister.



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