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RSF militia stands by lawsuit against Sudan opposition leader

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May 31, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Rapid Support Forces (RSF) field commander Ahmed Hamdan (Hametti) maintained his accusations against the leader of the opposition Umma National Party (UNP) saying the court have to decide on their claim against him.

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SRF field commander Mohamed Hamdan (Hametti) speaks in a press conference in Khartoum on Wednesday May 14, 2014 (ST)

Hametti remarks come as Sudanese lawyers’ Union (SLU) released a statement on Saturday, saying they continue to exert efforts to ensure the release of Sadiq al-Mahdi from Kober prison where they met him.

The militia commander said in a talk show aired by Ashorooq TV on Saturday they stick to the defamation lawsuit they filed against the opposition leader reiterating that all what he had said against the militia forces was not true.

“His statements were untrue and the court has to decide between us,” he said.

Earlier this month, 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.

Hametti said they do not wish that the defamation case affect negatively the national dialogue process.

"We hope that the political dialogue not be stopped, but if it is linked to persons we do not mind if it is stopped," he stressed.

The UNP suspended its participation in the national dialogue to protest the arrest of its leader on 17 May.

However, the Sudanese lawyers’ Union said in a press statement on Saturday that Mahdi renewed the commitment of his party to the national dialogue to settle the political crisis in Sudan.

The statement said layers delegation led by SLU chairman al-Tayeb Haroun, met the opposition leader on Saturday to discuss with him an initiative they launched recently aiming to achieve “national concordance”.

Al-Mahdi said his position in favour of the national dialogue is “strategic”, according to the Sudanese lawyers who vowed to work for his release to achieve the national dialogue .

Opposition parties participating in the political process met last week with vice-president Bakri Hassan Saleh who declined to respond positively to their demand to release him.

The Sudanese presidency said in a statement released after the meeting on 25 May that Saleh told the opposition leaders that Mahdi was arrested due to legal procedures and it is necessary to wait until completing the investigation and then considering the next step.

(ST)

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