We have been approached by journalists and media reporters on what is the ask of the Sudanese opposition and whether the issue of Sudan has been forgotten on many important events that our region is currently witnessing and what we would like to see on the next visit of former President Thabo Mbeki and the AUHIP to Khartoum as well as the expected visit by the American Presidential Special Envoy to Khartoum. To give the correct and straight forward account of those serious questions, especially since the newspapers of the Khartoum government today are propagating that General Bashir’s Foreign Minister, whose hands and the hands of his government are full of the blood of the Sudanese people in both Sudans, is planning today to meet President Barack Obama as part of the IGAD mediation on South Sudan, the SPLM-N would like to state the following:
1. The Sudan government has not yet taken a strategic decision to stop the wars and to accept democratic transformation. Therefore, any engagement with General Bashir’s government should take a new approach to deny the Sudan government from its usual practice of buying time and business as usual.
2. General Bashir’s government is meddling in many regional affairs and conflicts from Libya to Central Africa, and resolving the Sudan issue and achieving peace and democracy is the right way for a stable region. It goes without saying that General Bashir’s government is a source of instability in the region and beyond unlike the way they are trying to market themselves as a source of stability.
3. The Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) and the Sudan Call, the wider umbrella of the Sudanese opposition, communicated to the AUHIP, the IGAD and the international Special Envoys their views on the current situation and their readiness to achieve peace and democratic transformation through a national constitutional dialogue. It is important to recall that it is the Sudan government that refused to attend the pre-dialogue meeting in Addis Ababa called for by the AUHIP in accordance with Resolution 456 of the African Union Peace and Security Council and instead they preferred to go for rigged elections. It is General Bashir’s government that is responsible for the current stale-mate, and it is upon them to take a clear decision to remove the obstacles they placed on the road of the national constitutional dialogue process. The Sudan Call forces and the wider opposition are on record for what they want from the mediation’s of the AUHIP and the international community, and we believe that for the visit of President Mbeki and the AUHIP to achieve the desirable result, they need to address the following:
a. The Sudan government should be ready to start a genuine process that will immediately stop the wars from Blue Nile to the Nuba Mountains/South Kordofan and Darfur. Stopping the war is great news that the Sudanese people, the region and the international community can celebrate and it will help Sudan to send new messages inside and outside and to direct resources to solve current crises on issues of water, electricity and power, and health and education that are the major sources of discontent today in Sudan.
b. Ensuring basic freedoms are necessary for any genuine national constitutional dialogue process.
c. We are expecting and asking the African Union to give a clear mandate for the AUHIP and President Mbeki to facilitate the national constitutional dialogue.
d. We believe that to strengthen the AUHIP and the process of the national constitutional dialogue and to end the process successfully, to convince the regional and international organizations to lift sanctions, and to address bilateral and international demands on issues related to the gross violations of the Sudan government over the last three decades, the AUHIP will need to be supported by partners of the IGAD countries that will include the Republic of South Sudan as Sudan is also part of the current mediation in South Sudan, as well as Chad, Egypt, South Africa, Nigeria and Algeria from the African continent, the UN, the Troika (the US, UK and Norway), the European Union, France, and Germany, which has already signed a partnership agreement with the AUHIP. Certainly, we will welcome China and Russia in this process. This is the only way to inject new momentum on the AUHIP’s great effort to bring peace to Sudan. We remain optimistic and hopeful of President Mbeki’s visit to Sudan and his expected consultation with the opposition inside and outside of the country.
4. On the expected visit of the U.S. Presidential Special Envoy to Khartoum and as we are all aware that the President of the United States, Barack Obama, is today and tomorrow in Addis Ababa and as he is planning to address the African Union, we would like to express our hope and that of the millions of forgotten and displaced refugees from Sudan, thousands of them in neighboring Ethiopia and the victims of human rights violations, that the visit of the President of the United States and the expected visit of his Envoy would take into account the serious concerns and the catastrophic humanitarian and human rights situations in Sudan and would hold the Sudan government responsible for their actions and ask them to stop war, to address the humanitarian crisis, and to ensure freedoms and democratic transformation as the only way to lift sanctions and normalize relations with the U.S. and not to allow the Sudan government to use its engagement with the U.S. to continue genocide, human rights violations, to deny humanitarian access, to meddle in regional affairs and to buy time for the dictatorship.
Secretary General, SPLM-N
July 27, 2015