Paris — Sudan's Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok has described his meeting with SPLM-AW faction leader Abdelwahid El Nur in the French capital on Sunday as "one of the most important achievements of the Paris visit". He also expressed support for exile radio station Radio Dabanga, saying "its place is now inside Sudan".
In an exclusive interview with Radio Dabanga Editor-in-Chief Kamal El Sadig in Paris yesterday, Prime Minister Hamdok said that that the meeting with El Nur, which was brokered by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, "provided the opportunity to talk in detail on issues of peace and the root causes of Sudanese problems, such as issues of marginalisation, national identity, equality, distribution of resources, or unbalanced development".
'Honesty, clarity, and openness'
Hamdok described the meeting with the rebel leader, who has been living in exile in Paris, as "fruitful and useful". He explained that the discussion was characterised by honesty, clarity, and openness.
The PM said that he and El Nur have 'similar perspectives" regarding the challenges facing Sudan, Further, he confirmed that the meetings will continue until a comprehensive and sustainable peace can be reached.
He clarified that he views Sunday's meeting with El Nur as a preliminary measure to build confidence and create an atmosphere for peace. "There might be a second meeting with El Nur before the government delegation leaves [France] for Sudan," he said.
Speaking after a meeting with Hamdok at the Élysée Palace yesterday French President Emmanuel Macron hailed the Sunday evening meeting: "I think the step taken yesterday is an essential step," he added. "The Sudanese deserve to finally live in peace and security."
In the interview with Radio Dabanga yesterday, Hamdouk confirmed that the six-month period stipulated in the Constitutional Document is sufficient to achieve peace.
He added that the Juba Declaration of Principles, signed between the government and the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) coalition of armed movements in the capital of South Sudan in September, provided October 14 is the starting point for peace talks. He is expecting that all parties will honour their commitment concerning the deadline for signing the agreement in mid-December.
"The discourse with the armed movements is a dialogue with oneself rather than a dialogue with the other... because we have similar views regarding the root causes of the problems."
Hamdok confirmed that when he met with the delegation of the SRF and the SPLM led by Abdelaziz El Hilu in Juba, "the discourse with the armed movements is a dialogue with oneself rather than a dialogue with the other".
He appreciated and acknowledged the role of the armed movement in the revolution and change in Sudan. He added that the dialogue with the armed movements is not difficult "because we have similar views regarding the root causes of the problems".
He explained that his first visit was to Juba because its symbolic significance regarding the relationship between Sudan and South Sudan. "We are one people in two countries." and said.
Displaced persons and refugees:
Speaking on the issues of displaced persons and refugees, the PM confirmed that these constitute the highest priority and a primary aspect in achieving peace.
"If peace does not address the situation of displaced persons and refugees, we do not consider it peace..."
He stressed: "If peace does not address the situation of displaced persons and refugees, we do not consider it peace".
He paid a special tribute to the displaced people and refugees in the camps and said: "We will not settle, unless we put an end to the suffering of the displaced and refugees."
Also, he emphasised that there is a need to work hard to meet the needs of these marginalised groups.
Support for Radio Dabanga
Prime Minister Hamdok acknowledged and praised Radio Dabanga and the role its news coverage has been playing in the revolution and change process in Sudan.
"Radio Dabanga's place now is inside Sudan and not outside. It has been working abroad because of political and security considerations during the former regime, but now we welcome Radio Dabanga in Sudan today before tomorrow... "
Hamdok: "Radio Dabanga's place now is inside Sudan and not outside. It has been working abroad because of political and security considerations during the former regime, but now we welcome Radio Dabanga in Sudan today before tomorrow," he told Radio Dabanga's Editor-in-Chief Kamal El Sadig.
The PM expressed his commitment to provide the necessary support to allow Radio Dabanga to operate inside Sudan, with the right to open offices throughout the country "to be able to play its rightful journalistic role", Hamdok concluded.