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Sudanese authorities block opposition convoy from reaching protesters in al-Damer

January 13, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) prevented an opposition delegation from reaching the town of al-Damer, 300 kilometers north of Khartoum.

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Chairman of the National Consensus Forces (NCF) Farouk Abu Essa

Al-Damer has witnessed weeks of protests by the Manasir, a tribal community displaced by the government by the Merowe dam, who have yet to receive the compensation they were promised.

The Sudanese authorities forcibly sent back the opposition delegation from the city of Shendi on the grounds that the Manasir issue is not a political one requiring any form of solidarity.

At a press conference held in Khartoum, the opposition figures called for the dismissal and trial of the minister of electricity and dams Osama Abdullah and the Governor of the River Nile state al-Hadi Abdullah.

The representative of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Manasir, Izzedine Jaafar, warned that the tribe will move their sit-in to Khartoum and called on the Sudanese people to stand with them in their cause.

Jaafar said that the tribe brought electricity to all of Sudan through the Merowe Dam, and will also be the source of revolution that would eliminate the regime in Khartoum.

The head of the delegation of solidarity with Manasir and President of the Congress Party of Sudan, Ibrahim al-Sheikh, said that the National Consensus Forces (NCF), decided that they will visit the Manasir and provide them with more light in order to avoid forgetting their long standing issue.

Al-Sheikh rejected NISS assertions that the Manasir cause is not a political one saying that the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) exacerbated the issue without offering a solution.

He accused Sudanese authorities of violating the constitution, the rule of law and the judiciary, adding that the regime exercised tyranny and oppression of all the rights, abused the freedoms and trampled on it with its shoes.

The opposition leader said that the NCF is not weak like the NCP claims and will take to the streets if its people are allowed to head to public squares to express freedom and democracy.

NCF chief Farouk Abu Essa said the government describes the opposition as weak while preventing it from exercising the most basic rights. He emphasised that the issue of the Manasir is clear and recognised by the government and the Presidency but authorities are still dragging its feet in implementing solutions.

Abu Essa pointed out that the regime is fed up with university students, so it broke into their dorms, took them away to prison and closed the University of Khartoum.

He criticised the “fierce” attack on freedoms and confiscation and closure of newspapers while ignoring the pertinent laws in this regard. Abu Essa denounced the recent waves of arrests against opposition figures and students without charges namely the Popular Congress Party (PCP) official Ibrahim al-Sanousi and a student by the name of Mohammad Hassan al-Alim (Boushi).

He further underscored that the NCF is committed to ousting the regime which he described as a “nightmare”.

(ST)