February 20, 2018 (KHARTOUM) – The National Umma Party (NUP) accused the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) of using the political detainees as hostages to prevent the Sudanese opposition from carrying out protests against the government.
The NUP was reacting to press statements by the NISS director Salah Gosh who said the political detainees from the left parties would be released if their parties stop “demonstrations and vandalism”.
On 18 February the Sudanese authorities released about 80 political detainees including leading members from the party of Sadiq al-Mahdi ,NUP, but kept in prison the leaders of the Sudanese Communist Party and the Sudanese Congress Party.
In a statement on Tuesday evening, the NUP said that the statements of the director of the security apparatus “means that there are Sudanese citizens held hostage by the security forces to prevent the Sudanese people from expressing peaceful rejection of the starvation budget.”
“This is a new criminal conduct that will lead to a further escalation of mass protests and not to extinguish the burning flame of the resistance,” stressed the statement.
Further, the opposition party for the first time attacked Presidential assistant Abdel Rahman al-Mahdi who is the son of Sadiq al-Mahdi but has joined the government of President Omer al-Bashir since more than five years ago.
The statement said the presidential aide, Abdel Rahman al-Mahdi and NISS director Gosh are responsible for holding hostage political leaders, adding both “have become tools of terror and repression by the head of the regime”.
The National Consensus Forces (NCF) leader Farouk Abu Issa Monday slammed the government for keeping in detention some political leaders and releasing others saying it was a manoeuvre to divide the opposition.
The opposition Unionist Alliance issued a statement Tuesday saying all its detained members are still in jail and none of them has been released.
In a related development, former leader of the Sudanese Congress Party Ibrahim al-Sheikh appeared in a picture released by the British chargé d’affairs who paid a visit to his two daughters after their release on Sunday.
Al-Sheikh and other leading members of the party went underground since the arrest of Omer al-Digair after the increase of bread price during the first week of January 2018.