May 13, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The leader of Sudan’s opposition National Umma Party (NUP), Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi, has expressed readiness to appear before any court provided that it is just and public.
- Rapid Support Force (RSF) commander Maj. Gen. Abbas Abdelaziz (Ashorooq TV)
The statement came after the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) announced that it filed criminal complaint against Al-Mahdi for accusing the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) of attacking and burning villages in Darfur.
Al-Mahdi described charges of defamation and breach of security and safety filed against him as “void”, reiterating his accusations against RSF.
“I’m committed to what I said and I demand a just investigation on what took place in the respective areas”, he said
He added that he is ready for a fair trial in which the plaintiff is not the opponent and the judge at the same time, saying he demands a just and public trial which allows for the right of defense.
The NUP leader said that every citizen with a national or right conscience would defend him because his case is not personal or partisan but a national one.
NISS charged Mahdi with detracting from the authority of the state, discrediting regular forces, threatening public peace and inciting the international community against the country.
The charges were filed under articles (62) (66) (69) (159) of the 1991 criminal code regarding publication of items which causes grumbling among regular troops, publishing false news, breach of public peace, and defamation.
NISS accused al-Mahdi of providing wrong, unjust and abusive information about the RSF at a press conference he held last week in the NUP’s headquarters.
It also said Al-Mahdi accused the RSF of committing war crimes, rape, and looting in villages besides recruiting non-Sudanese nationals and operating beyond the scope of the regular troops.
NISS accused Al-Mahdi of deliberately targeting and defaming the RSF and the state, considering it a threat to public peace.
The RSF militia, which is widely known as the Janjaweed militias, were originally mobilized by the Sudanese government to quell the insurgency that broke out in Sudan’s western region of Darfur in 2003.
The militia was activated and restructured again in August last year under the command of NISS to fight rebel groups in Darfur region, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states following joint attacks by Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) rebels in North and South Kordofan in April 2013.