June 4, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s opposition Popular Congress Party (PCP) has revealed they are in contact with the government to press them on issuing a presidential decree to release the leader of the National Umma Party (NUP), al-Sadiq al-Mahdi.
- FILE PHOTO - National Umma Party (NUP) leader al-Sadiq al-Mahdi sitting between the Popular Congress Party (PCP) leader Hassan Al-Turabi (R) and National Consensus Forces (NCF) chairman Farouq Abu Isa (alJazeera.net)
PCP political secretary, Kamal Omer Abdel-Salam, told Sudan Tribune on Wednesday that his party leader Hassan al-Turabi met with al-Mahdi in prison on Tuesday and discussed the political implications of his arrest besides the joint coordination between the PCP and the NCP in the coming period.
Abdel-Salam said the two leaders sat together alone for a period of time, pointing that the visit was driven by social reasons because al-Mahdi is Turabi’s brother-in-law.
“But of course, political and social reasons clearly overlap”, he added.
The PCP official predicted that a presidential decree to release al-Mahdi will be issued very soon in order to promote national consensus which was initiated by the ruling National Congress Party (NCP).
He noted that president Omer Hassan al-Bashir, who resumed his duties on Tuesday, three weeks after undergoing knee surgery, met with senior government and NCP officials, predicting those meetings would produce practical steps to salvage the national dialogue.
Abdel-Salam further said that all political prisoners must be released including detainees of the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), the rebel Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-N) in addition to those detained during the protests which erupted last September in order to achieve national agreement.
He urged the government to take serious steps towards declaring a ceasefire and opening humanitarian corridors to deliver aid to the affected population in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
The deputy chairman of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and presidential assistant, Ibrahim Ghandour, on Wednesday said national dialogue is waiting for al-Mahdi, noting that the work of the opposition side of the dialogue mechanism was disrupted due to the his absence.
The opposition leader is in jail since the 17th of May as he is accused by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) of defaming the Rapid Support Forces. Al-Mahdi accused the government militia of committing war crimes and atrocities against civilians in Darfur.