President Jacob Zuma is scheduled to undertake a working visit to Khartoum, Sudan, this weekend, the Presidency said on Thursday.
“The President will stop over in Khartoum at the conclusion of the African Union Summit, which is currently taking place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,” spokesperson Mac Maharaj said.
The President will use Sunday’s visit to hold consultations with his counterpart, President Omar al-Bashir.
Sudan is scheduled to conduct presidential and legislative polls in early April 2015. However, some Sudanese political opposition parties have previously demanded that the elections be postponed and a transitional government be formed to resolve what they said is a crisis in the country.
Sudan’s National Elections Commission (NEC) on Tuesday said it approved 15 candidates for the upcoming presidential elections.
In 2010, the first multi-party elections in almost 24 years were held in Sudan where the ruling National Congress Party (NCP), led by al-Bashir, secured victory.
Khartoum on the other hand has been fighting with armed groups in Sudan’s Darfur region since 2003 and with the rebels of the Sudanese Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM) and northern sector at the South Kordofan and Blue Nile areas since 2011.
Nine rounds of negotiations between the government and the SPLMnorthern sector have failed to reach a peaceful settlement.
In January 2014, al-Bashir launched the national dialogue initiative. However, it faced difficulties as major opposition parties, including the National Umma Party and the armed movements, refused to participate.
South Africa’s policy towards Sudan is guided by the desire to see peace, security and stability prevail. – SAnews.gov.za-Xinhua
Source : SAnews.gov.za