Statement by Chairperson of the Commission on the signing of the Sudan Roadmap Agreement

The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, welcomes the signing by the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army-Minni Minawi (SLM/A-MM), the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), the Sudan People's Liberation Movement- North (SPLM-N), and the National Umma Party (NUP) of the Roadmap Agreement developed in March 2016 following strategic consultations with the Parties under the auspices of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP).

By joining the Government of Sudan in signing the Roadmap Agreement, the above Sudanese Parties have concluded the process of the adoption of the Roadmap Agreement, which represents an important breakthrough in returning the Sudanese security and political negotiations and processes back on track to achieve a permanent end of the conflicts of Sudan.

The Chairperson urges the Parties to sustain the momentum of the signing of the Roadmap by ensuring rapid progress in the negotiations that will now resume in Addis Ababa on a cessation of hostilities and much-needed humanitarian access for the Two Areas and Darfur. She calls on the Parties to cooperate with the United Nations and other humanitarian agencies to ensure that the needs of civilians affected by the conflict in the Two Areas and Darfur are effectively addressed.

With regard to the Sudanese National Dialogue, the Chairperson encourages the Parties to take the necessary measures to achieve a genuinely inclusive dialogue that includes key opposition political parties, armed movements and other Sudanese interlocutors. She reiterates the significance of the Dialogue as a process that will lead to the adoption of a new national constitution which will address Sudan's multiple challenges and thereby ensure stability and sustained prosperity for Sudan.

The Chairperson therefore looks forward to the convening in Addis Ababa by the AUHIP of the 7+7 National Dialogue Committee and the Parties that have just signed the Roadmap Agreement in order to develop the measures that will ensure the inclusivity of the dialogue process. She invites all other Sudanese political and civil society formations, and the general Sudanese public, to endorse and support the Roadmap Agreement and processes as the most significant opportunity for achieving the democratic transformation of Sudan.

The Chairperson of the Commission wishes to commend the Chairperson of the AUHIP, former President Thabo Mbeki, and General Abdusalami Abubakar, member of the Panel, as well as the support staff, for their outstanding commitment and support, beyond the call of duty, to the Sudanese parties in their quest for lasting peace, security, reconciliation and democracy in their country. She also welcomes the vigorous efforts of the Government of Ethiopia and other international partners including the United Nations, IGAD, the European Union, the Troika of the United States, United Kingdom and Norway, as well as Germany, and other organisations, who have encouraged the Parties to sign the Roadmap Agreement. She looks forward to their continuing cooperation with the African Union in supporting the parties to complete the political and negotiation processes ahead.

The Chairperson of the Commission wishes to underscore that the African Union remains steadfast in supporting the Sudanese parties, guided by the full understanding that they have the capacity to address all challenges that continue to face their people.

Source: African Union Commission (AUC).