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Sudan’s NCP confirms detention of senior opposition official

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August 12, 2014 (KHARTOUM) - The ruling National Congress Party (NCP) has confirmed the arrest of a senior member of the opposition National Umma Party (NUP), Merriam al-Mahdi, by the security service, saying she will be treated according to the law.

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FILE - Meriam Al-Mahdi is the daughter of the National Umma Party leader al-Sadiq al-Mahdi (AFP)

The NUP deputy leader was arrested at Khartoum airport on Monday evening when she returned from Paris after participating with her father and chairman of the opposition parties in a series of meetings with the rebel Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF).

The rebel groups in Darfur region, Blue Nile and South Kordofan states led by Malik Agar struck a deal with the opposition parties aiming to create a joint political platform for the opposition parties in order to end war and achieve democratic transformation in Sudan.

NCP Media secretary, Yasir Youssef, told reporters on Tuesday that al-Mahdi “will be treated according to the law in forces in the country”.

The Sudanese authorities arrested in the past several opposition members after meetings with the rebels and accused them of seeking to overthrow the government.

On 27 June, Sudanese president Omer al-Bashir warned opposition parties against contacts with the rebel groups which he described as “agents and traitors”.

“Whoever wants to deal or sign agreements with the rebels has to know that the SRF has some areas in South Kordofan, Blue Nile, Darfur, Israel and Kampala. We will not accept that some speak (with them) in Khartoum and our sons are fighting and die in South Kordofan,” he said.

The president made his remarks after statements by the leader of the opposition National Umma Party, Sadiq al-Mahdi who following his release expressed his intention last Friday to coordinate with the rebels in order to achieve a comprehensive peace in the country.

The NUP leader had been arrested in May for accusing the government militias of committing atrocities and war crimes in Darfur.

In a press statement Tuesday, the NUP secretary-general, Sara Nugdallah, said that the deputy chairman was transferred to Omdurman prison for women after had being arrested for several hours at the buildings of the security service in Khartoum North.

The SRF condemned on Tuesday the detention of Merriam al-Mahdi saying the move is "consistent with the actions and methods of the security apparatus that violate international conventions of human rights, and (even Sudan’s) interim constitution”.

Youssef, on the other hand, refused a call by the NUP leader asking the ruling party to accept or to reject the Paris Declaration saying “they have their own choices”

(ST)

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