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Sudan issues arrest warrant against opposition leader Sadiq al-Mahdi

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November 15, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s state security prosecutor on Thursday issued an arrest warrant for the leader of the opposition National Umma Party (NUP), Sadiq al-Mahdi and others, as he plans to return to the country on 19 November.

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Opposition leader of the National Umma Party and Sudan’s former prime minister, al-Sadiq al-Mahdi, at his home in Omdurman after he was released on 15 June 2014 (Photo: Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)

Al-Mahdi who left Khartoum in February 2018 was residing in Cairo until the first of July when the Egyptian authorities declared him persona non grata and prevented him from entering into the country. He is now living n the British capital London.

A short notice extended by the security service to media outlets in Khartoum on Thursday announced that the State Security Prosecution issued on Thursday an arrest warrants for "Sadiq al-Mahdi and others", citing several articles of the Criminal Code related to subversive activities to undermine the constitutional order, incitement against the state, publishing false news.

Also, the arrest warrant included an article of the Anti-Terrorism Act on the terrorist activities.

The surprise decision to arrest the leader of the opposition alliance Sudan Call comes after a statement by the Sudanese presidential assistant and deputy chairman of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) Faisal Hassan Ibrahim on 20 October welcoming al-Mahdi’s return to the country.

President Omer al-Bashir was always very critical of al-Mahdi alliance with the armed groups in Darfur and the Two Areas. He always described it as a "red line" that the government should not tolerate.

Meriam al-Mahdi, NUP Deputy leader, confirmed to Sudan Tribune her return to Khartoum from London on Friday despite her possible arrest.

When he announced his return to Sudan, the former prime minister said the NUP formed a committee to defend him comprising several lawyers.

Al-Mahdi, 83, had been arrested for more than a month on 17 May 2014 for criticising alleged crimes and atrocities committed by the Rapid Support Force (RSF) government militia in conflict zones.

(ST)

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