Sudan's national dialogue mechanism asks Ghandour to prepare for talks with rebels

November 18, 2014 (Sudan Tribune)

Sudan's national dialogue mechanism known as 7 +7 tasked the Sudanese presidential assistant Ibrahim Ghandour and Bishara Juma Eror Lenoba with meeting the rebel groups in Addis Ababa next week, following this week's suspension of the negotiations between the government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N).

The mechanism had received a request from the African Union mediator Thabo Mbeki to help in persuading rebels to join the dialogue.

Sudanese president Omar Hassan al-Bashir launched the national dialogue initiative last January but the process suffered major setbacks after the withdrawal of the opposition National Umma Party (NUP) and the non-participation of the rebels as well as leftist forces.

The spokesman for the mechanism, Fadl al-Sayed Shoaib, said the committee in charge of meeting with the armed movements that boycotted the national dialogue will present a roadmap which has been approved by the General Assembly to bring rebels onboard.

Shoaib told the pro-government Sudanese Media Centre (SMC) website that the mechanism is awaiting an invitation from Mbeki to meet with the rebels.

Talks between the rebels and the government are set to start on 22 November to reach an agreement on the cessation of hostilities.

The Sudanese presidency asked the 7+7 mechanism to delay a planned visit to rebel convicts at Kober prison last Thursday for further coordination and arrangement.

The official news agency SUNA said the visit has been delayed until later this month.

According to SUNA, a member of the delegation has attributed the delay to incomplete arrangements for the visit, saying the visit aimed at creating a conducive environment for the national dialogue prior to the Addis Ababa talks.

The delegation is comprised of eight members with four from the government side and an equal number from the opposition parties.


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