Sudan’s dialogue body known as 7+7 committee has said that the national dialogue’s general assembly would be held on August 6th.
The announcement came after a meeting between the 7+7 committee and President Omer al-Bashir on Sunday.
Member of the 7+7 committee,Information Minister and Government Spokesperson Ahmed Bilal Osman told reporters following the meeting that the national dialogue “came to an end and we are waiting for the general assembly to approve the recommendations which would pave the way for the great shift in Sudan”.
He added that the period which precedes the general assembly’s meeting would witness intensive contacts with those interested in joining the dialogue besides the opposition holdout groups inside Sudan and abroad.
Launched on 10 October 2015 for three months, the dialogue process was initially expected to wind up on 10th January.
The opposition groups refuse to join the process and call on the government to implement a number of confidence building measures aimed to create a suitable atmosphere for dialogue. But the government refuses their claims.
Osman pointed that the 7+7 committee would conduct large contacts with the Sudanese people and the opposition holdout parties to get them acquainted with the recommendations of the dialogue conference.
He added that the meeting discussed the 7+7 committee’s final report on the first and second phases of the dialogue which included 900 recommendations on the six issues of the dialogue, saying the conferees have agreed on 97% of these recommendations.
It is noteworthy that the national dialogue conference has discussed six main issues including the national identity, freedoms and rights, national economy, foreign relations, governance and implementation of the outcome of the dialogue.
For his part, member of the 7+7 committee Bishara Gumaa Aror said the national dialogue has accommodated all views of the opposition holdout groups, disclosing ongoing contacts to convince the latter to join the dialogue.
He stressed that no preparatory meeting would take place outside Sudan, saying the 7+7 could hold consultative meetings with the opposition holdout abroad.
In September 2014, the AU Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) endorsed a roadmap aiming to facilitate the national dialogue. It provides to hold a national dialogue preparatory meeting in Addis to agree on issues related to the process.
However, the Sudanese government refuses to take part in the pre-dialogue meeting, expressing readiness to meet the rebels to discuss the conditions and guarantees related to their participation in the internal process.
Bashir launched the national dialogue initiative two and a half years ago in which he urged opposition parties and rebels alike to join the dialogue table to discuss all the pressing issues.
But the initiative faced serious setbacks in wake of the government’s refusal to create suitable atmosphere in the country leading several major participants to pull out.