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Al Bashir repeats threats of legal action against Sudan Call

April 3 - 2018 KHARTOUM
President Omar Al Bashir addresses a Sudanese paramilitary force in Khartoum in 2017 (Suna)
President Omar Al Bashir addresses a Sudanese paramilitary force in Khartoum in 2017 (Suna)

President Omar Al Bashir has issued more statements threatening to take legal action against the Sudan Call opposition alliance because they are cooperating with the country’s armed movements.

President Al Bashir said that “the political forces allied with the armed movements, in reference to the alliance of the Sudan Call, have no choice other than two things: either to bear arms and then we will face them with the necessary deterrence, or to take political action. Then they must have a clear and explicit declaration of the renunciation of violence in order to engage in the political process.”

In his speech to the National Parliament on Monday, the president said that he will never allow the combination of military action and political action against the state. He pledged to forbid student organisations at the universities to be the hands of the armed movements and carry arms. “We will impose security within the force of law.”

In a statement on Friday, El Sadig El Mahdi, President of the National Umma Party (NUP) and currently chairman of the Sudan Call group, commented on the announcement to disband the Sudan Call alliance. El Mahdi pointed to the major detention campaign by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) of opposition leaders in January, because the main opposition parties organised demonstrations in protest against major austerity measures that month.

Freedom restrictions’

The Darfur Bar Association (DBA) said that the president’s speech yesterday “will weaken the chances of peace and undermine the available margin of freedoms”. The association of lawyers released a statement titled ‘Restrictions on the margins of freedoms’, claiming that restricting university students to commit to the only available path set by President Al Bashir would make the universities “a battlefield for political struggle”.

In addition the DBA expressed its full solidarity with newspapers such as El Tayyar that regularly face press freedom restrictions, and with activists and human rights defenders who have been denied to move and travel.

Corruption

On Monday, President Omar Al Bashir also vowed to launch a war against corruption in Sudan, especially to cut off actors manipulating the economy.

“There are linked networks of corruption to sabotage the national economy by stealing the people’s money,” the president told the Parliament. “We will strictly apply the law of illegal wealth here, to detect the suspected money laundering.”

Yesterday, the US Dollar price against the Sudanese Pound rose again, to SDG 34. It had remained on SDG 32 for several weeks in the parallel market in Sudan.

Currency traders attributed the new drop of the Pound to the increased demand by summer holiday travelers.

In the beginning of February this year, the Dollar hit the highest record: reaching 42 Pounds in the parallel market. This compared to SDG 20 last November.


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