20 August 2014

Sudan: SRF Calls for International Pressure to Postpone Sudan Elections

Khartoum — The Sudan Revolutionary Front's (SRF) secretary of external affairs, Yasir Arman, has called for the international community to ramp up pressure on the Sudanese government to postpone general elections scheduled for April 2015 and to work towards a comprehensive process to bring peace and democracy.

Arman, who is also the SPLM-N secretary-general, made the call in a speech delivered at Chatham House, Britain's Royal Institute of International Affairs, which organised a roundtable discussion on Wednesday under the theme 'Sudan's Political Future: Creating a Credible Dialogue'.

The rebel leading member said that conducting general elections - as continue armed conflicts, and lack of political freedoms in Sudan - will only deepen political division and increase violence.

"Therefore, in the opposition, we call upon the regional and international community to give a clear message to General Bashir and his government that the regional, and international communities will not recognise such an election," Arman said.

He further urged the international community to raise "the issues of the humanitarian crisis and human rights violations ... as one of the means of putting pressure on the government to allow for a credible national dialogue".

SRF leader Malik Agar and National Umma Party (NUP) president Sadiq al-Mahdi signed a political declaration in Paris on 8 August calling for a review of the national dialogue process and the inclusion of rebel groups.

Several opposition parties boycotting the process launched by president Omer al-Bashir welcomed the declaration and considered it as a good step towards an inclusive process.

Arman said Paris Declaration should be seen as "a demonstration of the goodwill of the opposition to support the national dialogue and to provide a new approach".

He underscored that signatories of the declaration agreed on two mechanisms to achieve change in Sudan, pointing out that the national dialogue and the constitutional process remain the "preferable" one.

"In the absence of that, they are equally prepared for a peaceful uprising to achieve transformation," he added.

In a press conference held in Khartoum on Tuesday, NUP secretary-general Sarah Nugd Allah threatened to spark a popular uprising if the government continued to ignore the Paris Declaration.

Khartoum rejects the deal and considers it as windows to foreign interference in the dialogue process as it supports rebels' demand for a unified process and preparatory discussions on a framework agreement of the national constitutional process.

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