November 9, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) has launched massive arrest campaign against members of the opposition Sudanese Congress Party (SCoP), detaining its chairman and seven leading members on Tuesday.
- SCoP leader Omer al-Digair (ST Photo)
In the early morning of Wednesday, Sudanese Congress Party announced the arrest of its leader Omer al-Digair, in addition to several other members from the party’s headquarters in Shambat suburb, north of Khartoum.
According to a statement extended to Sudan Tribune, al-Digair was arrested at 02:00 am on Wednesday 9 November from his home in Omdurman.
The opposition party said with the al-Digair’s arrest, the number of its detained members has risen to twenty-one members.
SCoP has escalated popular mobilization activities against the government following a decision to raise fuel and electricity price.
On Friday, the NISS arrested SCoP deputy chairman Khaled Omer Youssef from his home after holding an open air address in Khartoum’s southern neighborhood of Al-Deim.
On Sunday, SCoP’s chairman of the Central Council Abdel-Qayoum Awad el-Sid, and deputy Information Secretary Abdalla Shams al-Koun were also arrested besides a third student activist from West Kordofan state.
On Monday the NISS arrested three SCoP leading figures including its former chairman Ibrahim al-Sheikh, secretary general Mastoor Ahmed and political secretary Abu Bakr Youssef.
In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Monday, SCoP described the arrest campaign as “deliberate targeting” of its leadership following the recent protests and popular activities carried out by the party.
Also, SCoP chairman Omer al-Digair told Sudan Tribune on Monday that his party wouldn’t abandon its national responsibility, saying they are exercising their constitutional right to peaceful expression.
He vowed to continue their peaceful resistance until achieving victory for the Sudanese people, stressing that he is not afraid of detention.
Al-Digair further pointed that the arrest campaign against SCoP’s leadership is clear evidence that the government is not serious about holding a genuine national dialogue, saying the regime tries to adjust by making cosmetic changes.
The SCoP was established in January 1986. It was first chaired by the former chief-justice Abdel-Mageed Imam who was succeeded by Ibrahim al-Skeikh and has recently elected al-Digair as its third president.
The center-left reformist party calls for social justice and separation of religion and state. It also believes that peaceful transfer of power is the only way to stability and unity of the country.
In recent months, the SCoP has challenged the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and organized political activities in public and open places calling on the citizens to resist the regime and take to the streets in protest against the deterioration of living conditions at all levels.
SLM-MM DENOUNCES DETENTIONS
Meanwhile, the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-MM) led by Minni Minnawi has expressed solidarity with the detained SCoP members.
In a press release extended to Sudan Tribune on Tuesday, SLM-MM spokesperson Mohamed Hassan Haroun described the arrest of the SCoP leadership as deliberate targeting of all Sudanese who resist injustice, saying the regime’s acts wouldn’t deter the opposition.
He called on all Sudanese to stand ready to uproot the corrupt regime and end the suffering of the people, demanding them to unite to achieve peace, security, democracy, freedom and justice.