The detention of Dr Maryam El Sadig, co-vice president of the National Umma Party (NUP), on Monday evening, has evoked large-scale condemnation.

The daughter of NUP’s leader, El Sadig El Mahdi, was detained by agents of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) upon her return to Sudan after attending the historic Paris conference. She was removed from the aircraft after it landed at Khartoum late on Monday evening.

She was taken to the premises of the Political Security Service department in Khartoum North. Later today, she was moved to the federal Women’s Prison in Omdurman, the sister-city of Khartoum.

Dr El Sadig was a force majeure in organising last week’s summit in Paris that was the first face-to-face meeting of the NUP and the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF, an alliance of the main rebel movements) leaderships.

On 8 August, SRF chairman Malik Agar and NUP leader El Sadig El Mahdi signed the joint Paris Declaration, in which they call for the unification of the Sudanese opposition forces, in order to end the armed conflicts in the country, and work together on democratic reforms.

The NUP has reiterated its commitment to the Paris Declaration. NUP co-vice president, Gen. Fadlallah Burma Nasir, told Radio Dabanga that the detention of Dr El Sadig is “more than an affirmation of the importance of the Declaration”.

He commended the work of Maryam El Sadig. “Her commitment to the cause deserves respect and gratitude. Thanks to her tireless efforts, the SRF and NUP leaders met in Paris, and agreed to cooperate for the sake of a peaceful and democratic Sudan. The Sudanese government should have organised a welcome ceremony, instead of detaining her, because what she has done for the sake of the country and the public interest can only be lauded. She is a real hero.”

‘Regime not serious’

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North also condemned El Sadig’s detention, and called for her immediate release, as well as the release of all political detainees in Sudan.

Speaking to Radio Dabanga, SPLM-N’s secretary-general, and SRF’s foreign relations secretary, Yasir Arman, told Radio Dabanga that the detention of Dr El Sadig “once again demonstrates that the Khartoum regime is not serious about their proposed dialogue, fair and just elections, or ending the armed conflicts in the country”.

“The Khartoum regime only knows one language: the language of oppression and aggression.”

Arman referred to the detention of Sudanese Congress Party leader, Ibrahim El Sheikh, who was detained more than one month ago for denouncing the widespread attacks by paramilitary Rapid Support Forces on civilians in Darfur and Kordofan, and the detentions by the NISS of political activists and protesters.

“The Khartoum regime has showed its ugly face again when it formed the Rapid Support militias last year. These militias are Janjaweed in new uniforms, now commanded by President Al Bashir himself. The only way out of this nightmare is the toppling of the regime.”

‘Non-Unamid forces’

Abdel Wahid El Nur, the leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement, and co-vice president of the SRF, considered the detention of Maryam El Sadig also as “proof of the unwillingness of the government to enter any real peace process”. He stressed that the only solution for change in the country now is a popular uprising.

El Nur also referred to the recent military raid on El Salam camp for the displaced in Nyala locality, whereby a number of displaced were summarily detained. He called upon the UN and the international community to “deploy non-Unamid forces for the protection of the displaced in the camps”.

File photo: Signing of the Paris Declaration, 8 August 2014. Maryam El Sadig is standing in the middle, behind Agar en El Mahdi.


Sudan: Maryam El Mahdi transferred to Omdurman prison (12 August 2014)

Detained El Sheikh transferred to Police Hospital in Sudan’s capital (12 August 2014)

Displaced condemn South Darfur State for camp raids (12 August 2014)

‘Sudan’s regime should accept Paris Declaration’: El Mahdi (11 August 2014)

Sudan’s opposition welcomes, ruling party rejects Paris Declaration (11 August 2014)

Sudan opposition parties sign for toppling regime (8 August 2014)

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