Sudanese Opposition Reserved, Skeptical over Amnesty

Published June 22nd, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

The Sudanese opposition inside the country has reservedly welcomed a general amnesty declared by the government but has shown skepticism over its implementation under "the existing freedom-restricting laws." 

"It is a step towards setting the stage for dialogue" between the government and opposition, senior Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) official Ali Ahmed al-Sayyed told reporters, commenting on the amnesty decree declared by President Omar Bashir Wednesday. 

However, he seemed skeptical about the prospects of implementing the decree, noting that "the government has previously taken many decisions that have not been implemented." 

Sayyed believes that the conditions set for opponents to return home voluntarily, observe the constitution and laws and repudiate violence in order to benefit from the offer "weaken the decree as the opposition will not return home under the existing freedom-binding laws and state of emergency." 

Moreover, the DUP official went on, "the decree may be retracted at any time by another decision or obstructed by another official within the government itself." 

He stressed that the opposition insists on cancellation of all laws restricting freedoms "as a guarantee for implementing this decree." 

Senior Umma Party official Admam Mussa Madibbu, also speaking to reporters, described the decision as "conducive" to the proposed dialogue between the two sides. 

However, Madibbu also demanded the government cancel all laws restricting freedoms so as to "show its sincerity in bringing the decree into force." - CAIRO (AFP) 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (

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