Sudan rebel leader Yasir Arman detained in Khartoum
Yasir Arman, the deputy leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North under the leadership of Malik Agar (SPLM-N Agar), has been detained in Khartoum.
SPLM-N spokesperson Buseina Dinar told Radio Dabanga that at 12.45 pm today, a joint force of security personnel and members of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) government militia, under the command of Capt Ahmed Mukhtar, surrounded the house where Arman and his delegation are staying.
Arman himself was seized and reportedly taken to the Dabak detention centre north of Khartoum. Witnesses told Radio Dabanga that Arman was beaten while being detained.
In an initial response, SPLM-N faction leader Malik Agar has condemned the storming of the residence and detention of Arman in the strongest terms, saying that the movement holds the Transitional Military Council (TMC) fully responsible for his wellbeing.
Arman, who arrived in Khartoum along with SPLM-N Agar secretary-general Ismail Khamis on May 26, was not subjected to any harassment on his arrival at Khartoum airport, in spite of a death penalty hanging over his head. He was condemned to death in absentia by the Al Bashir regime, and the present military junta refused to cancel the sentence.
The stated goal of his visit is “to go to Khartoum, reach a just peace, linking between peace, democracy, and citizenship without discrimination and social justice”.
Since his return to Sudan, Arman has met with several foreign diplomats including US Chargé d’Affaires Steven Koutsis, and British Ambassador to Khartoum, Irfan Siddiq.
He says that he has subsequently received six letters; five sent by the deputy chairman of the TMC and commander of the paramilitary RSF, Lt Gen Mohamed Hamdan ‘Hemeti’, and one by the chairman of the junta, Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, demanding he leave Sudan.
In a statement last week, Arman defied El Burhan and Hemeti’s demands, saying: “We have come as part of the Sudanese people’s uprising, with the permission of the Sudanese people and for the benefit of the Sudanese people. Our coming would not have been possible without the uprising.
“We came and do not carry a pistol. Our only weapon are millions of Sudanese seeking a new homeland,” he stated.
“Our main purpose is to integrate the issues of peace and citizenship without discrimination in the package of transition so that democracy can take on justice, social justice and citizenship without discrimination.”
He said that the death sentence issued by a judge in 2014, during the ousted President Omar Al Bashir’s rule, in a trial in absentia against SPLM-N leaders, was “a political ruling par excellence”.
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