Rebels have no option but to join the dialogue: Sudan’s Vice-President

KADUGLI – Sudanese vice-president Hassabao Mohamed Abdel-Rahman said that recent security agreements signed between Sudan, Uganda and South Sudan have left the Sudanese rebel groups with no choice but to join the ongoing dialogue process.

Abdel-Rahmanm who addressed a crowd in South Kordofan state capital of Kadugli Saturday, called upon the armed groups to heed the appeal of peace and comprehensive national dialogue.

“Peace is inevitable; we signed a deal with Uganda preventing the [Sudanese] opposition work [launched from Kampala], and we also signed an agreement with South Sudan to expel the [Sudanese] rebel movements [from its territory], you [rebels] must join the dialogue,” he said.

The Sudanese army has been fighting Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-N) rebels in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states since 2011 and the armed movements in Darfur since 2003.

Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni concluded on Wednesday a rare visit to Khartoum where he discussed with his Sudanese counterpart Omer al-Bashir the situation in South Sudan besides harbouring of rebel groups from both countries.

Kampala accuses Sudan of harbouring the Lord Resistance Army (LRA) of Joseph Kony in a remote area in Darfur region but Khartoum denies the accusation. On the other hand, Sudanese officials recently say that Uganda restricted the activities of the rebel groups who used in the past to hold their meetings in Kampala. However they point the rebel groups still have presence there.

Also during the visit, Bashir arranged a meeting between South Sudanese former vice-president and designated first vice-president, Riek Machar and Museveni to ease relations and build confidence between the two over the presence of Ugandan troops in South Sudan.

On Friday, Machar said in a press conference in Khartoum the IGAD-brokered peace pact in South Sudan will end the presence of the Sudanese armed groups in South Sudan adding that the successful implementation of the peace agreement will bring peace to the two Sudans.

NATIONAL DIALOGUE

Meanwhile, Abdel-Rahman reiterated that the government-led national dialogue would be an exclusive Sudanese process aimed at achieving justice and equality besides the fair distribution of power and wealth without foreign agendas and intervention.

Bashir launched the national dialogue initiative more than a year and a half ago in which he urged opposition parties and rebels alike to join the dialogue table to discuss all the pressing issues.

But the major opposition parties and the rebel groups refused to join the process saying the government is not serious in its search for a genuine peace and democratic reforms.

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