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Khartoum bans Sudanese opposition leaders from travelling to Paris.

November 11, 2015 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan's National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) Sunday has prevented several opposition leaders from travelling to France and confiscated their passports.

Malik Agar, SRF leader (L) and Sadiq al-Mahdi NUP president shake hands after the signing of Paris Declaration as Marriam stands in the middle on 8 August 2014 (ST Photo)

The secretary general of the opposition Alliance of National Forces (ANF) Farah Agar told Sudan Tribune that NISS prevented the political secretary of the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) Mohamed Mukhtar al-Khatib, member of the SCP central committee, Tarig Abdel-Mageed and the chairman of the Unified National Unionist Party (UNUP) Gala al-Azhari from travelling to Paris and seized their passports.

Agar pointed the opposition leaders were seeking to participate in the meeting of the "Sudan Call" forces which will discuss the agenda for the dialogue preparatory meeting scheduled to be held under the auspices of African Union in Addis Ababa later this month.

He said that NISS will likely ban the rest of the leaders from leaving the country, saying the deputy chairman of the opposition National Umma Party (NUP) Mariam al-Mahadi had earlier left for Cairo and will travel to Paris from there.

The chair of the Sudanese Civil Society Organisations, Amin Mekki Madani, has already arrived in Paris with a representative of the National Consensus Forces, Mohamed Mahgoub, while the SPLM-N leadership is expected to arrive on Monday as well as the NUP leader Sadiq al-Mahadi.

ANF secretary general vehemently criticized NISS's move, noting it clearly contradicts pledges made by leading figures from the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and government officials to ensure basic rights and allow political freedoms including freedom of movement and travel.

He pointed the opposition leaders were not told of the reasons for preventing their travel, saying they have not committed any crimes to put their names on the travel ban list.

The African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), which mediate the peace talks, reportedly will determine the dates of separate talks between the government and armed groups and the preparatory meeting that will include the government, NUP, and rebels after Paris meeting.

It is noteworthy that the opposition "Sudan Call" forces include the rebel umbrella Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF), NUP, National Consensus Forces (NCF) and the civil society organizations.

Khartoum had previously refused to participate in a comprehensive preparatory meeting including the NCF and civil society groups. Only it reiterated its readiness to meet the rebels to discuss the conditions and guarantees related to their participation in the internal process.

However, the Sudanese president Omer al-Bashir last month instructed the dialogue body known as 7+7 to meet with the signatories of Addis Ababa agreement including the SRF and the NUP.

The SRF and the NUP from one side and 7+7 committee from the other side signed an agreement on identical terms with the AU High Implementation Panel (AUHIP) "on the national dialogue and constitutional process" on 5 September 2014.

(ST)

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Publication:Sudan Tribune (Sudan)
Geographic Code:6SUDA
Date:Nov 8, 2015
Words:509
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