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Arrest of opposition leaders wouldn’t resolve Sudan’s crisis: envoy

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February 17, 2018 (KHARTOUM) The British Ambassador to Sudan, Michael Aron said the detention of opposition leaders and activists without charges or trial wouldn’t resolve the Sudanese crisis.

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British Ambassador to Sudan Michael Aron (Reuters Photo)

The Sudanese authorities have arrested more than 411 opponents during recent protests in Khartoum and a number of states against austerity measures and deteriorating living conditions.

In a farewell letter on the occasion of the end of his term in Sudan seen by Sudan Tribune, Aron said the Sudanese government has implemented “very harsh” but necessary economic reforms.

He added these reforms had adversely impacted the residents forcing some to exercise their right to protest peacefully.

“I have argued strongly at [meetings with] public and private sectors that the detention of political leaders and activists without charge or trial is not the way to deal with this issue, and I very much hope that these detainees will be released very soon,” he said

The British diplomat pointed out that his country’s relation with Sudan has entered a new stage, saying “our strategic dialogue is solid, and we are able to engage in constructive discussions on difficult issues, including human rights”.

Aron added that limited progress has been made in Sudan’s peace process, pointing the government and the rebel movements are committed to the unilateral cessation of hostilities.

“I hope that 2018 will be the year in which peace agreements are reached in Darfur and the Two Areas’ he said

He added the next challenge would be to prepare for holding free and fair elections in 2020 which requires making progress in implementing the Roadmap Agreement signed between the government and the opposition.

The British diplomat expressed confidence that the various Sudanese parties are able to sit together and agree on track leading to restoring democracy in the country.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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