? What Is Missed in the National Dialogue

Sudan has entered a new era after secession of South Sudan in 2011 due to comprehensive peace agreement CPA which says, a referendum should be organized after the transitional period to give Southerners a right to choose either one Sudan or to vote for their own country, so 98% voted in favor of secession.


Political, economic and security challenges have appeared on the surfaces, the leaders of the ruling party, National Congress Party NCP, decided to overcome these challenges through prominent developments inside the party, they raised slogan of new republic in which the NCP adopted reformation procedures, that distanced the historical leaders to open the gate for the youth to lead the coming period.
Mutiny of Sudanese People Liberation Movement/ Northern Sector SPLM/N in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states alongside Darfur conflict and economic instability that resulted to the sanctions imposed on Sudan considered as key issues needed to be solved by the government.

National dialogue

In January 2014 the President of Sudan Al Bashir, who also chaired NCP announced national initiative to reconcile all political parties through a political process named as the national dialogue. The initiative was welcomed by the leaders of Popular People’s Party   (PCP) and National Umma Party. The President of Sudan  Omar Al Bashir issued decrees to create a common political atmosphere he directed to release political detainees, press freedom and enable political parties to exercise political activities “ I direct the concerned authorities to release political detainees and to give freedom to media as well as to enable political powers to exercise activities” said Al Bashir .
The former opposition and the current alliance the leader of NPC Dr. Hassan Abdallah Al-Turabi appealed for the reconciliation call. He pointed out that the country and the interest of Sudan deserves dealing with the initiative; the initiative was welcomed locally, regionally and internationally. The most important thing is the formation of mechanism of national dialogue committee, which composed of 14 members, seven from opposition side and seven members included ruled party and its alliance.


Nine months have passed and Sudanese people are waiting for the result of national dialogue process, political powers were divided around the initiative, Kamal Omer who is responsible for political bureau in PCP explained “I think we need to start dialogue, if we have proposals or ideas we shall discuss inside the conference, so preconditions before agreeing to participate or not is not lead to common understanding” now the situation  based on two contradicted visions because opposition parties like communist party and rebel movements demand for transitional government to be responsible for carrying out national dialogue and to make the constitution.
This idea was rejected by NCP the ruling party which see that transitional government, constitution or election can be done if the outcome of national dialogue process agreed upon certain time for election or the transitional government.

African Union

African Union appointed former South African President Thabo Mbeki who already mediated between Sudan and South Sudan, Blue Nile and South Kordofan to shorten the gap between political powers. The mission of the mediator is not easy, the gap is wide, but he tried, so the recent agreement between national dialogue committee and revolutionary front in Addis Ababa is described as a positive step towards the goals of the dialogue.  Also the release of both Umma party deputy chairman Mariam Al-Sadiq, and Sudanese Congress Party Ibrahim Sheikh Alden was welcomed by European Union considered it as the only way out to all Sudanese crisis.
But many Sudanese politicians and political analyst believe that Mbeki is incapable to shoulder the responsibility of national dialogue, he has been mediating between Sudanese conflict groups.


What is missed in national dialogue process is lack of confidence between political powers inside, and the rebel movements outside, the former governor of South Darfur Hamad Ismail views that confidence can lead to good result and it may shorten the time. So if leaders manage to build trust among them they create many options and opportunities alongside alternatives to solve problems, if leaders trust each other they can adopt election as an option incase of national dialogue failure.

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