Sudan deports 3 freed rebel leaders to South Sudan

Sudan has deported to South Sudan three members of a rebel movement detained last week in the wake of a deadly raid on a protest sit-in, an official in the movement said on Monday.

The three are members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), one of the country’s main rebel groups and part of an alliance pushing for a handover to civilian rule after the military deposed President Omar al-Bashir in April.

The deportations came with many shops and businesses in the capital Khartoum still shut on the second day of a campaign of strikes and civil disobedience aimed at putting pressure on the Transitional Military Council to relinquish power.

The council toppled and arrested Bashir after three decades in power on April 11, before entering negotiations on a transition towards elections with the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF) alliance, which includes the SPLM-N.

But the talks collapsed last week when security forces stormed a sit-in outside the Defence Ministry that had been the focal point of Sudan’s protest movement for nearly two months.

Yasir Arman, the most prominent of the three men released and the deputy head of the SPLM-N, was detained last Wednesday after returning from exile following Bashir’s ouster.

The two others, SPLM-N secretary-general Ismail Jallab and spokesman Mubarak Ardol, were arrested after meeting visiting Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed as he tried to mediate between the military council and civilian opposition.

An SPLM-N official who declined to be named said the three had been put on a flight to Juba, South Sudan’s capital, following their release in Khartoum.

The SPLM-N splintered from the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement that fought Khartoum for South Sudan’s independence, achieved in 2011. It is now seeking more autonomy for the southern Sudanese states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan.

by Reuters