Sudanese opposition leaders barred from travelling to Strasbourg

Khartoum/Paris, June 8, 2015(SSNA) — Security officers prevented opposition leaders from travelling to France on Monday. They were invited to participate in the European Parliament hearing on Sudan in Strasbourg, scheduled to take place on 9 June. The passports of seven opposition leaders, including Maryam El Mahdi and Mohamed Abdallah El Doma, co vice-presidents of the National Umma Party, and Siddig Yousef, senior member of Sudanese Communist Party, were taken from them at Khartoum International Airport.

 Farah El Agar, legal consultant of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), and Ibrahim El Sheikh, head of the Sudanese Congress Party were stopped from travelling to Strasbourg on Saturday. Faroug Abu Eisa, chairman of the National Consensus Forces (NCF), a coalition of opposition parties, was not allowed to travel to Cairo for medical checks last Wednesday.

The NCF chairman told Radio Dabanga on Sunday that security officers had informed him on Wednesday that the travel ban is a political decision against the signatories of the Sudan Appeal. In the two-page communiqué, signed in Addis Ababa on 3 December last year, the allied opposition calls for regime-change and the formation of a Sudan, based on democracy and equal citizenship.

The signatories were invited by the European Parliament, in cooperation with the Sudan Centre for Transitional Justice and Peace Studies, to discuss options for reaching peace in Sudan.

Abu Eisa called the travel ban “an affront to the European Parliament”. Malik Agar, head of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) rebel alliance, said that the action by the security apparatus clearly proves that the newly appointed Sudanese government will continue its war policies and suppression of civic freedoms. “Those banned from travelling intended to contribute to the Sudanese peace process. By barring them, the regime affirms its rejection of ending the wars in the country by peaceful means,” he stressed.

The opposition has denounced the new cabinet and state governors, appointed by President Al Bashir on Saturday, saying that it is “just a transferral of the same persons to other locations”.

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