September 4, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudanese security agents have prevented Sideeg Youssef, a leading member of the National Consensus Forces (NCF), from travelling to Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, the opposition alliance said in a statement released on Thursday.
- Sideeq Youssef of the Sudanese Communist Party (Photo: Al-Midan)
Sudan’s peace mediators, the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) and the joint chief mediator for peace in Darfur (JMC) are conducting consultations in the Ethiopian capital with the rebel umbrella of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF).
Also a delegation from Sudan’s national dialogue mechanism arrived in Addis Ababa to brief the rebel groups on the internal political process and invite them to join it.
The NCF in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune condemned the travel ban against Youssef who is also a leading member of the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP), saying “the measure was inconsistent with the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the constitution”.
“Such behaviour exposes the allegations of the dictatorial regime which seeks forcefully to impose the alleged dialogue,” the statement adds.
Sudanese officials, including president Omer Hassan al-Bashir, announced a series of measures aimed at ensuring public freedoms in order to create a conducive environment in the country before launching the national dialogue.
However, observers say that security services continue to arrest opponents and activists without consideration to the announced measures.
On Monday, the political secretary for the ruling National Congress Party, Mustafa Osman Ismail, admitted the need to coordinate with security services to avoid any conflict between political and security organs that may harm the national dialogue process.
The internal opposition alliance, which is headed by Farouk Abu Essa, refuses to participate in national dialogue, calling for the inclusion of rebel groups and a guarantee on political freedoms in the country.
Earlier this week, National Umma Party (NUP) leader al-Sadiq al-Mahdi, who held a series of meetings with mediators and rebels in Addis Ababa, also met with Abu Essa in Cairo before the return of the latter to Khartoum.
Reliable sources say that Youssef was heading to Addis Ababa for consultations with mediators and rebels over the dialogue process.
Security service last month prevented a leading member of the NUP from travelling to Paris to participate in a meeting with the rebel groups. They also arrested Mariam al-Mahdi, who took part in the discussions on the Paris Declaration, following her return to the country.