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Meriam al-Mahdi returns to Sudan but not arrested

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Meriam al-Mahdi at the NUP premises on 16 Nov 2018 after her return in Sudan (ST photo)

November 17, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The National Umma Party (NUP) Deputy President Meriam al-Mahdi returned to Khartoum on Friday without being arrested despite an arrest warrant issued 24 hours before to arrive in Sudan.

Sudan’s state security prosecutor on Thursday issued an arrest warrant for the opposition NUP leader "Sadiq al-Mahdi and others", as he is set to regain the country on 19 November after nine months of self-imposed exile in Egypt and the United Kingdom.

Upon her arrival to the Khartoum Airport, Meriam was received by her brother Abdel-Rahman al-Mahdi who is a presidential assistant to President Omer al-Bashir, Fadal Allah Burma Nasir, NUP deputy leader, and Sara Nugallah, NUP Secretary-General while some hundreds of the opposition party supporters were outside the airport to welcome here.

Addressing a meeting held at the NUP headquarters in Omdurman, she criticized the arrest warrant against the opposition leader Sadiq al-Mahdi saying it is an attempt to prevent the return of any citizen to the country.

She further said time for action has come and that the year 2019 will be a year of change adding it was enough to endure such humiliation

It remains unclear why the arrest warrant was not enforced. But, it was reported that the government directed to not implement it.

The decision to arrest "al-Mahdi and others" was criticized by several officials in the government and the ruling party.

However, there is no official cancellation of the warrant as the NUP leader said he would return to Sudan on 19 November as scheduled.

(ST)

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