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Agar calls on African Union to condemn charges against Sudan opposition leader

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NUP leader Sadiq al-Mahdi (C) speaks with SPLM-N leader Malik Agar and its Secretary General Yasir Arman following the signing of the Roadmap Agreement in Addis Ababa on 8 August 2016 (ST photo)
April 3, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North led by Malik Agar has urged the African Union to condemn Sudanese government’s decision to charge the leader of the opposition Sudan Call Sadiq al-Mahdi of plotting with the rebel groups to overthrow the regime.

"We call on our people, political forces, civil society, regional and international communities, especially the African Union, to condemn the government’s attempts to extort and intimidate the Sudan Call leadership and its chairperson Imam Sadiq al-Mahdi," said Agar in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Tuesday evening.

Agar further stressed that this decision to charge al-Mahdi means "killing any opportunity for dialogue".

The Sudan Call groups and the government signed an African Union-brokered roadmap for peace and democratic reforms in 2016. The opposition political and armed groups met in Paris last March to define a joint position before to discuss, with the mediation, ways to review the peace plan.

On Tuesday the state security prosecution filed criminal charges against al-Mahdi for dealing and coordinating with the armed movements that seek to topple the regime.

President Omer al-Bashir on Monday denounced the election of Sadiq al-Mahdi as the chair of the Sudan Call umbrella which includes armed groups. He said opposition parties within the Sudan Call must choose between their alliance with the armed movements or the civic action.

Al-Mahdi who is currently residing in Cairo didn’t issue a statement on the decision of the Sudanese government which means that he would be immediately arrested when he returns to Sudan.

In a recent reaction to government’s threats against him, al-Mahdi said he maintained that he would return to the country when after when he completed a series of contacts and meetings with regional and international actors.

Besides the armed groups, the Sudan Call includes the National Umma Party of Sadiq al-Mahdi and the Sudanese Congress Party, and several small political groups its leadership mainly based outside the country.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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