Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Monday announced a presidential initiative for dialogue on the country’s permanent constitution, urging political forces to take part in the initiative.
Al-Bashir made the announcement when addressing the Sudanese National Assembly, the parliament, saying the move is for the “second phase of our national dialogue.”
“We call on forces of the national dialogue, including parties, political organizations, movements, active forces of society, civil society organizations, personalities and national figures to take part in the initiative,” he added.
Al-Bashir further vowed to present the new constitution to the Sudanese people for referendum.
Sudan is currently working with a temporary transitional constitution that was approved in 2005 in accordance with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, signed in January 2005 by Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and the Sudan government.
The national document for dialogue, which was approved at the conclusion of the national dialogue conference on Oct. 10, 2016, stipulated formulation of a permanent constitution for the country to be agreed on by all the political forces and parties in Sudan.
In January 2014, al-Bashir declared an initiative calling on opposition parties and armed groups to join a national dialogue to end the country’s crises.
The dialogue kicked off in October 2015 in a bid to resolve the country’s political and social issues, and was concluded one year later.
In his addressing, al-Bashir also pointed out that no armed group would be allowed in political realm.
“Under the constitutional commitment, we will never allow combining the military work against the state with political work,” he said.
He further reiterated the government commitment to achieve peace at all Sudan’s conflict zones, saying that renewal of the cease-fire reaffirms the government’s seriousness to reach peace.
Last March, al-Bashir issued a decree extending the cease-fire at all conflict areas for another three months.
In June 2016, the president declared the first cease-fire for four months for the rebel movements to join the national dialogue and then extended it for many times.
The Sudanese government has been fighting the rebel SPLM/northern sector in South Kordofan and Blue Nile areas since 2011.
Many rounds of peace talks held in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa failed to end the conflict.
The government has also been fighting armed groups in the Darfur region since 2003.