Cairo — Leaders of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF, a coalition of armed movements) arrived in the Egyptian capital this weekend to discuss the contents of the Constitutional Declaration with the Forces for Freedom and Change opposition alliance (FFC) before the final signing takes place on August 17.
El Hadi Idris, head of the Sudan Liberation Movement-Transitional Council (SLM-TC), told Radio Dabanga from Cairo that the members of the SRF insist on the addition of the Addis Ababa Agreement to the Constitutional Declaration.
The SRF has rejected the contents of the Political Charter, a basic power-sharing deal agreed on by the FFC and the ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) on July 5. Malik Agar, head of the Blue Nile faction of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North, called for a meeting with the FFC in Addis Ababa under auspices of the African Union, to discuss "the unity of the opposition" and agree on "comprehensive security arrangements" in the country.
In the last week of July, the SRF leaders met with a delegation of the FFC in the Ethiopian capital. The parties concluded their talks on July 25 with the signing of the Addis Ababa Agreement in which they agreed "to open the way for a comprehensive peace agreement with the armed movements immediately after the transition to civilian rule".
On August 3, the TMC and FFC agreed on the 250-pages Constitutional Declaration, complementing the Political Charter. The SRF rejected this document because it does not include the contents of the Addis Ababa deal. Members of the Sudanese Congress Party, an important member of the FFC, supported the claim.
The head of the SLM-TC said they arrived in Cairo at the invitation of the Egyptian government, which is currently chairing the African Union. "The only thing the SRF will demand at the upcoming meeting with the FFC is the addition of the contents of the Addis Ababa Agreement to the Constitutional Declaration."
The National Consensus Forces (NCF, a coalition of leftist opposition parties) has declined the invitation. On Saturday, the coalition said in a statement that it is now working on arrangements for the ceremonial signing of the Constitutional Declaration on August 17, "to open the way to the interim period that does not bear any delay in the transition to a civilian authority".
The NCF instead requested the postponement of "the consensus meeting" with the rebel movements until September, "to serve as a basis for the work on the entire peace file".
On August 18, a day after the official signing of the Constitutional Declaration, the names of the 11 members of the Sovereign Council that will govern Sudan during an interim period of three years in the run-up to elections, will be announced. August 20 will see the announcement of Sudan's new Prime Minister. The composition of the Cabinet is planned to be finalised on August 28.
According to the African Union mediator in Sudan, Mohamed Lebatt, the Political Charter and the Constitutional Declaration contain main clauses on the peace processes "in a clear, comprehensive manner".
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