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Sudan: NUP secretary-general barred from leaving Khartoum airport

May 21 - 2018 OMDURMAN
NUP Secretary-General Sarah Nugdallah during a press conference, Omdurman, June 13, 2015 (File photo: RD)
NUP Secretary-General Sarah Nugdallah during a press conference, Omdurman, June 13, 2015 (File photo: RD)

Agents of the National Security and Intelligence Service (NISS) banned Sara Nugdallah, Secretary-General of the National Umma Party (NUP) from travelling abroad on Saturday.

The NUP reported in a press statement on Saturday evening that NISS officers confiscated Nugdallah’s passport at Khartoum airport. She planned to to fly to Cairo to see her doctor, and proceed to Paris where she would join meetings of the Sudan Call opposition alliance.

According to the NUP, barring its secretary-general from travelling abroad “is part of the regime's policy of giving the security apparatus a free hand in order to restrict political and civil action and suppress freedoms”.

The statement described the use of travel bans against politicians and activists as a clear violation of the Rule of Law and international covenants.

The Sudan Call, a two-page political communiqué calling for regime-change and democracy, was signed by representatives of the NUP, the National Consensus Forces (NCF, a coalition of opposition parties), the Civil Society Initiative, and the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF, an alliance of the main rebel movements) in Addis Ababa on 3 December 2014. Other Sudanese opposition groups and parties joined them in the following year.

After signing the Sudan Call document, the chairmen of the NCF and the Civil Society Initiative, and the legal consultant of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North were detained by the NISS upon their return to Khartoum on 6 December 2014. They were released on 9 April the following year, a few days before the general election would begin in the country.

El Sadig El Mahdi, chaiman of the NUP, remained abroad in a self-imposed exile until early 2017. On his return to the Sudanese capital, he was welcomed by a huge crowd of supporters.

In March this year, the group convened in the French capital. They agreed on mobilising the people in Sudan for a popular uprising. At the same time, the allied opposition forces will respond to initiatives of the international community and the African Union to revive the roadmap for the Sudanese peace talks based on AU resolutions.

In an interview with El Sudani newspaper on March 22, President Omar Al Bashir announced his intention to sue the members of the Sudan Call, for cooperating with Sudan’s armed movements.

“This is not allowed by the law, it is not possible to combine military activity and political action," he said. "So we repeat that the law applies to any party enters that into an alliance with groups carrying arms."

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