August 27, 2016 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – North (SPLM-N) Saturday has called on the United States Special Envoy Donald Booth to help to secure the release of detained pastors and activists in Sudan.
- Sudanese Presidential Assistant Ibrahim Mahmoud, (L) shakes hands with U.S. Special Envoy Donald Booth at his office in Khartoum on July 29, 2016 (ST Photo)
Last week a Sudanese court began the trial of two Sudanese Christian pastors, a Czech missionary filmmaker and a human rights activist. The four are accused of conducting intelligence activities and providing material support for the rebels in South Kordofan.
Ahead of Booth’s visit to Khartoum, SPLM-N Secretary General Yasir Arman disclosed in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune that he requested the U.S. special envoy to advocate for their release.
“SPLM-N Secretary General on Friday phoned the US special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan who is on his way to Khartoum about the attacks on Sudanese Christians especially the trial of Christian pastors from the Nuba Mountains and civil society activists including, Rev. Kuwa Shamal, Rev. Hassan Abdel Rahim, activist Abdel-Moneim and Czech journalist Petr Jasek,” said the statement .
According to the statement, the US diplomat stressed that the American embassy in Khartoum is following this “important issue”.
"The Secretary-General sent the same message to the other international envoys to Sudan" added the statement, underlining that the issue is related to the "right of citizenship without discrimination and to ensure basic human rights".
The SPLM-N and two armed groups in Darfur signed earlier this month a Roadmap Agreement providing to negotiate cessation of hostilities and humanitarian access agreements with the government.
The rebel groups and the government are expected to resume talks within two week to finalize the humanitarian truce before to hold a meeting to discuss other confidence building measures including basic freedoms. These steps are supposed to pave the way for their return to Khartoum to take part in a constitutional conference.
In a related development the SPLM-N formed a 23-member committee to reach the international community and to campaign for the rights of Sudanese Christians .