Sudan Tribune:

South Sudan president halts searches of relief convoys

April 16, 2014 (JUBA) – South Sudan president Salva Kiir Mayardit told security ministers Wednesday to stop searching relief convoys delivering food to internally displaced persons in response to a query raised by humanitarian agencies.

Speaking at the launch of South Sudan’s National Food Security Council, the head of UN World Food Program (WFP) in South Sudan complained that a convoy heading to Yida refugee camp was searched with the driver and made to pay a total of 16,000 South Sudanese pounds at numerous check points.

President Kiir, responding to the plea by WFP to end the “unnecessary delays”, told defence minister Kuol Manyang Juuk and minister of national security Mamut Mete, who were present at the launch, to halt the search of relief vehicles.

“When you block the relief convoy and then you demand for anything that means you derail relief work completely and nobody will be saved,” he said.

The UN says that 4.9 million people in South Sudan are in need of humanitarian assistance. Over one million people have been displaced by the conflict which began in December.

(ST)

Article source: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article50676

Sudan’s DUP rejects holding national dialogue abroad

April 16, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) led by the presidential assistant Jalal Youssef Al-Digair, has announced rejection to holding the national dialogue abroad, saying it is an inter-Sudanese process and must take place inside the country.

Al-Digair met with the European Union (EU) ambassador to Sudan, Tomas Ulicny, on Wednesday in the presence of the DUP’s secretary general and information minister, Ahmed Bilal.

It was not clear whether the DUP’s rejection for holding the dialogue abroad was a response to a suggestion made by the ambassador or not. However a number of European capitals believe they should encourage discussions between political parties and rebels outside the country.

Bilal told Sudan’s official news agency (SUNA) following the meeting they discussed with EU ambassador the progress of the dialogue process among various political parties in order to achieve a comprehensive solution for all Sudan’s problems.

“We discussed our party’s stance with regard to various issues including our 1996 initiative for dialogue which sought to uphold the value of national dialogue as means to achieve comprehensive and integrated solution for challenges facing the country,” he added

He pointed to his party’s participation in various committees of the political parties’ council and its contacts with opposition forces, saying the meeting alluded to the invitation extended by the EU to the DUP to take part in the workshop which will be held abroad in order to converge views of various political forces.

The DUP secretary general further said they conveyed to Ulicny their view on the ongoing dialogue and their vision on the proposed solutions.

“If EU’s efforts were sincere they would definitely push the dialogue process and urge rebel groups to take part in it,” he added

Ulicny for his part welcomed the start of national dialogue among various political forces in order to resolve all the country’s issues.

The DUP Al-Digair is a splinter faction from the DUP mainstream led by Mohamed Osman Al-Mirgani who also joined the government of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) after South Sudan gained independence.

Last January, Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir launched a political initiative and invited the opposition parties and armed groups to come together for a national dialogue.

(ST)

Article source: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article50680

Sudan’s ruling NCP reiterates refusal for transitional government

April 16, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) has expressed readiness to agree with the political forces and rebel groups on a national program to govern the country in the coming period but reiterated its rejection to establishing a transitional government.

JPEG - 20.9 kbIbrahim Ghandour (Photo Suna)

The presidential assistant and deputy chairman of the NCP, Ibrahim Ghandour, said his party is ready to agree with political forces on a political program to govern the country, pointing they refuse to join a government comprised of dissonant forces similar to the one which was formed before the secession of South Sudan.

He further renewed call for opposition parties which refused to engage in the dialogue and the rebel groups to respond to the comprehensive national dialogue initiative launched by president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir.

“They (opposition parties and rebel groups) will wait for a long time on the sidewalk. Their wishes [of toppling the regime] wouldn’t be realised, so they shouldn’t wait for the unknown,” he added.

The opposition parties of the National Consensus Froces (NCF) refuse to participate in the national dialogue before the formation of a national unity government during a transitional government where a national conference including rebel groups would be held.

The opposition says this government would also implement the outcome of the national dialogue conference and organise general elections in the country.

Ghandour affirmed that rebel groups wouldn’t be able to seize power by force, saying that rebellion in Sudan has never managed to overthrow a government in Khartoum.

He demanded leadership and constituencies of the NCP to get ready for the general elections, predicting his party’s would win the elections.

“Don’t be occupied with the timing and dates of holding the elections and get ready for it as if it will be held tomorrow,” he said.

The presidential assistant underscored they accepted the national dialogue from a position of strength not weakness, saying dialogue won’t dismantle the regime and the ballot box will be the only way for assuming power.

Meanwhile, Ghandour regretted rejection of the rebel alliance Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) of the national dialogue, saying he hoped that the position of the SRF would not be the rejection of dialogue.

On Monday, the SRF reiterated its rejection to take part in the national dialogue, saying the government is escalating military operations instead of declaring cessation of hostilities and making confidence-building measures.

The rebel alliance said it doesn’t reject the principle of dialogue for a comprehensive and peaceful solution, but they want a dialogue based on a clear roadmap to “move from war to peace and from totalitarianism to democracy”.

Late last January, Bashir launched a four-point reform plan and asked political forces and rebel groups should they lay down arms to engage in a comprehensive national dialogue process.

Two opposition parties, the People’s Congress Party (PCP) and the National Umma Party (NUP) expressed support for the process, but insist on the need to ensure freedoms.

(ST)

Article source: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article50681

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