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Ansar sect warns government against harming al-Mahdi

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May 16, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Al-Ansar sect, the religious arm of Sudan’s National Umma Party (NUP) warned the government today against inflicting any harm on al-Sadiq al-Mahdi, a day after he appeared for questioning on statements he made on Rapid Support Forces (RSF) last week.

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The leader of Sudan’s opposition National Umma Party (NUP), Sadiq al-Mahdi (Photo: Reuters)

The lead of Friday prayers at the Ansar Mosque in Wad-Nubawi on Friday, Adam Ahmed Youssef, stressed in the sermon that the Sudanese government will be held responsible for any harm that to al-Mahdi.

Youssef announced that the NUP is preparing itself for the possibility of a government crackdown and a return to era of arrests and suppression of freedoms. He added that the government proved beyond any doubt that it does not wish to engage in a meaningful dialogue and has little tolerance for dissent.

He emphasized that the regime does not want to reform and called on Sudanese people to take to the streets and grab their freedom and dignity .

Abdul Rahman al-Ghali, a leading NUP figure expressed surprise at the move which he said lacked objectivity and logical argument.

In statements to pro-government Ashorooq TV, al-Ghali said that this undermines the ongoing national dialogue process making it meaningless as long as the government does not abide by the law .

Al-Mahdi appeared on Thursday before state security prosecutors to respond to a criminal complaint against him filed by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) in light of remarks he made accusing RSF of committing serious abuses in conflict zones rape as well as looting and burning villages.

But the NUP leader defiantly reiterated his allegations to RSF of violations in Darfur and Kordofan and noted that his remarks were based on factual information he received from sources in the region along with 220 police complaints filed by the locals in the towns of El-Obeid and Abu-Zabad in North Kordofan state.

The NUP leader noted that North Kordofan governor Ahmed Haroun broke down in tears when al-Bidairiya tribal chief told him of RSF abuses.

Al-Mahdi said that his criticism of those forces came late and recalled that the head of the UN peacekeeping mission in Darfur criticised RSF in tougher terms in the presence of President Omer Hassan al-Bashir recently during a tribal conference in Um-Jaras in Chad.

The RSF militia, which is widely known as the Janjaweed militias, were originally mobilised 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.

(ST)

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