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Sudanese opposition leaders prevented from travelling for meeting aboard

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SCoP leader Omer al-Digair and NUP deputy chairman Merriam al-Mahdi speak in a press conference in Khartoum on 25 July 2016 (ST Photo)
January 14, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese security service Saturday has prevented opposition leaders from leaving the country to participate in a meeting of the Sudan Call forces in the French capital Paris.

The 20th meeting of the armed and political opposition groups is designed to discuss the organizational structures of the alliance and also will consider ways to support peaceful protests and civilian disobedience in the country.

The Sudan Call forces inside the country, and the National Umma Party (NUP) issued two separate statements to announce the travel ban on their delegations imposed by the National Intelligence and Security Services.

The delegation of Sudan Call forces is composed of Omer al-Digair, chairman of the Sudanese Congress Party, Kamal Ismail of the National Alliance Party and Yahia Hussein of the Sudanese Ba’ath Party.

While the delegation of the National Umma Party included, deputy chairman Mohamed Abdalla al-Doma, deputy chairman Merriam al-Mahdi and secretary general Sarah Nougdallah. The party leader Saldiq al-Mahdi and other members will travel to Paris from Cairo.

Sudanese authorities didn’t issue any statement on the ban.

However, informed sources said the decision of the security services depends on the agenda of the meetings, pointing that this time Khartoum believes they seeks to coordinate the actions of the political and military factions to topple the regime.

Khartoum in the past allowed the opposition groups inside the country to meet with the rebels every time the African Union mediators or the facilitators backed such move but this time seemingly nobody informed the government about the meeting or its agenda, Sudan Tribune has learnt.

The peace talks are deadlocked since last August. The facilitators, Germany, Uganda and the U.S. organized informal meetings with or between the two parties, but failed to narrow the gaps in the positions of the parties over cessation of hostilities and humanitarian access agreements.

The Sudan Call forces, which negotiate with the government in a process brokered by the African Union, last November and December supported calls by Sudanese activists to overthrow the regime of President Omer al-Bashir through a civil disobedience campaign.

On Thursday, the security service prevented the Chairman of Civil Society Initiative, Amin Mekki Medani, and his family from travelling to Cairo where he planned undergo a surgery.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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