El Mahdi calls-off West Darfur forum amid protests
Sudan’s opposition National Umma Party (NUP) has been forced to call off a public forum in El Geneina, capital of West Darfur, owing to growing demonstrations of protest against the visit of El Sadig El Mahdi the head of the NUP.
On Monday, before the arrival of the delegation, a number of protestors gathered around the square designated for the public speech and chanted slogans against the NUP slogans and El Mahdi, set fire to tires, and burned the NUP flag.
A NUP delegation El Mahdi is on an official visit to Darfur since last week. The delegation has also met with some protests in Nyala in North Darfur and Zalingei in Central Darfur.
In a statement on Monday, the Secretariat of the NUP announced the cancellation of the public meeting because of tensions in the city to avoid further escalation. The statement included that the NUP delegation decided to meet with civil society, community leaders, and political parties to communicate their message, rather than the initial plan of the public forum.
“We will visit El Geneina again on our next visit to North and East Darfur. We appreciate the warm welcome of the people in Nyala and Zalingei,” the statement said.
Radio Dabanga reported last month that El Mahdi will retire from the party’s executive. “His past contributions and intellectual legacy will continue to affect the party,” the announcement said.
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