August 13, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The European Union and Norway called on the Sudanese government to release the deputy leader of the National Umma Party (NUP), saying it is in disagreement with government’s efforts to engage in national dialogue, including the opposition forces.
Merriam al-Mahdi was detained last Monday following her return from Paris, where she participated in talks with rebel groups over ways to unite the opposition forces and reach a negotiated solution. She also participated in a meeting with EU MPs in Strasbourg over peace in Sudan.
“The Delegation of the European Union, the resident EU member states, embassies and the Embassy of Norway in Khartoum express their concern about the imprisonment of Dr Meriam Al Sadig al Mahdi, vice-president of the Umma National Party,” said a statement issued on Wednesday.
The statement further recalled that “detentions of political leaders and civil society activists go against the spirit of an open and inclusive national discourse and call for Dr Meriam to be released”.
The EU previously announced its support to the national dialogue and expressed readiness to support the efforts aiming to achieve a comprehensive negotiated solution .
Observers say the crackdown on the opposition and rights activists hampers the whole political process and would lead to more tensions in the country.