Sudanese Leader, Opposition to Meet in Eritrea in Peace Bid
Sudanese opposition leader Mohammed Osman al-Mirghani is due to meet Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in Asmara later Tuesday to explore ways to end the 17-year-civil war, an opposition leader said.
The meeting would be the first since Bashir seized power in a 1989 military coup backed by Islamic fundamentalists.
The meeting between Bashir and Mirghani, head of the National Democratic Alliance, an umbrella for the northern opposition and southern rebels, is "exploratory," opposition member Mohammed al-Mootassem Hakem told AFP.
"Mirghani will sound out Bashir's positions to know whether he is ready to accept a comprehensive political solution ending the war in Sudan and opening the way to establishing a democratic state in the country," Hakem said.
The government in Khartoum has been fighting a war since 1983 with the rebels of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA).
Mirghani "will ask for the repeal of laws restricting public freedom and political activities before starting negotiations with the government to reach a peaceful solution," he said.
He also said Bashir must "resign to form a national coalition government" with the opposition, including the SPLA, to prepare for a constitutional conference aimed at solving the country's problems and ending the war.
The talks in the Eritrean capital were the result of mediation by the Eritrean government, he added – CAIRO (AFP)
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