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NUP leader El Mahdi announces return to Sudan

October 23 - 2018 LONDON
AUHIP chief Thabo Mbeki (R) meets with NUP leader El Sadig El Mahdi on 2 June, 2016 (NUP)
AUHIP chief Thabo Mbeki (R) meets with NUP leader El Sadig El Mahdi on 2 June, 2016 (NUP)

The chairman of the National Umma Party, Imam El Sadig El Mahdi, announced to return to Sudan once again on December 19. The date coincides with the anniversary of Sudan’s independence and transformation into a republic.

On Monday, El Mahdi said in a weekly update that he delayed his return from the United Kingdom because he has planned a meeting with the African Union High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) leader Thabo Mbeki. In addition, the Umma Party is preparing for a development integration conference regarding Red Sea state.

El Mahdi sends his weekly update in a voice message to his followers through WhatsApp. “After consulting with our party, I decided to return home on December 19, 2018, if God’s willing.”

On December 19, 1955, the Sudanese parliament, under Azhari’s leadership, unanimously adopted a declaration of independence. On January 1, 1956, Sudan became an independent republic.

The opposition leader announced his willingness to return earlier this month. In April this year, following El Mahdi’s election as chairman of the Sudan Call alliance, the State Security Prosecution service in Sudan instructed a complaint be filed against El Mahdi, “for dealing and coordinating with rebel armed movements to overthrow the regime.”

Sarah Nugdallah, the spokesman of the NUP: “The party’s decision for the return was taken after the completion of its study from the political, diplomatic, legal and logistical aspects and full briefing of the possible scenarios, during consultations with the allies.”

Nugdallah announced the formation of a high committee to make arrangements to work with a national committee that includes all political, civil, intellectual, cultural and sports groups, to receive El Mahdi.

Exile

El Mahdi remained abroad in a self-imposed exile until early 2017, when he returned to the Sudanese capital. He left Sudan in August 2014 after having been detained for one month. He was accused by the National Intelligence and Security Service of undermining the Constitution. El Mahdi had denounced the widespread attacks against civilians in Kordofan and Darfur by the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) commanded by the NISS.

In July this year the authorities at Cairo National Airport denied El Sadig El Mahdi access to Egypt, after he returned from Germany. The German government had invited the leaders of the Sudan Call, a coalition of Sudanese opposition parties and armed movements, to discuss a proposal to solve the peace talks impasse.


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