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Sudan opposition rejects VP's dialogue call

27 March 2013, 13:27

Khartoum - Sudan's opposition on Wednesday rejected a call by the country's most powerful vice president for them to join the government in making a new constitution.

The invitation by Vice President Ali Osman Taha, who also reached out to rebels in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, came as tension eases with neighbouring South Sudan.

Taha invited the opposition and rebels for dialogue at a news conference on Tuesday, his first in more than two years.

"We don't see anything new in that. It is the same line," said Farouk Abu Issa, who heads the opposition alliance of more than 20 parties.

Taha suggested that as relations with the South improve there is a less restrictive political atmosphere within Sudan, where opposition figures have been jailed.

Sudan needs a new constitution to replace the 2005 document based on a peace agreement which ended Sudan's 23-year civil war and led to South Sudan's separation in July 2011.

But Issa said the next constitution should not be made under a process led by the 23-year regime of President Omar al-Bashir and his National Congress Party (NCP).


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