UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Saturday voiced his disappointment at the failure to hold the Sudanese pre-dialogue meeting in Addis Ababa, saying “a fully inclusive, free and transparent dialogue is critical to addressing the root causes of the recurrent crises in Sudan.”
The secretary-general said the failure came “as a result of the decision of the ruling National Congress Party and its allies not to attend the meeting,” according to a statement issued here by Ban’s spokesman.
Ban believes this pre-dialogue meeting would have been an important step to address the root causes of the recurrent crises in Sudan and achieve sustainable peace.
On Wednesday, the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) announced that it has indefinitely suspended the pre- dialogue preparatory meeting that was scheduled to take place in the Ethiopian capital this week after the government and its affiliated political parties refused to attend.
The panel led by former South African president Thabo Mbeki had invited parties participating in the national dialogue process launched by Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir last January as well as non-participants that include rebel groups.
“The secretary-general urges all stakeholders to continue to engage constructively towards the early convening of a credible and inclusive National Dialogue,” the statement said.
“The secretary-general expresses his appreciation to the African Union High-level Implementation Panel for its tireless efforts on Sudan and South Sudan and reaffirms the continued full support and partnership of the United Nations,” the statement added.
Throughout the Sudanese president’s 25-year rule of Sudan, several major conflicts have plagued ordinary citizens and have destabilized various regions of the country.
Violent clashes between armed rebel groups and government forces have forcibly displaced thousands throughout the country, especially in Darfur, South Kordofan, and in the Blue Nile States, leading to humanitarian crises, according to media reports and international aid agencies.
Khartoum has been fighting with the Sudanese Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM)/northern sector in Sudan’s Darfur region since 2003 and with the rebels of the SPLM/northern sector at the South Kordofan and Blue Nile areas since 2011.
Nine rounds of negotiations between the government and the SPLM/ northern sector have failed to reach a peaceful settlement.
In January 2014, al-Bashir launched the national dialogue initiative. However, it faced difficulties as major opposition parties, including the National Umma Party and the armed movements, refused to participate. Enditem