Two prominent Sudanese critics of military detained, coalition says – Metro US

Two prominent Sudanese critics of military detained, coalition says

FILE PHOTO: Former Sudanese cabinet minister Khalid Omer Yousi
FILE PHOTO: Former Sudanese cabinet minister Khalid Omer Yousi

By Khalid Abdelaziz

KHARTOUM (Reuters) -Two prominent Sudanese political figures who held top positions in the civilian administration before a military takeover in October have been arrested, their Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) coalition said in a statement on Wednesday.

The arrests mark an extension of a crackdown on critics of the military and follow those of dozens of activists linked to a protest movement against the Oct. 25 coup.

The two officials detained, Khalid Omer Yousif and Wagdi Salih, had previously been involved in a task force that seized property and fired bureaucrats linked to the regime of Omar al-Bashir, who fell to a popular uprising in 2019.

Yousif also served in the Cabinet of a civilian government under a power-sharing agreement between the military and the FFC.

Across Sudan, some 105 people were being held without charges over political activity, most of them members of local resistance committees detained in Khartoum’s Soba prison, said Samir Sheikh Idris, a spokesman for an activist lawyers’ group.

Some 2,000 people had been detained and released on bail in connection with demonstrations since the coup, Idris said.

Sudan’s public prosecutors’ office did not respond to a request for comment.

The U.S. Chargé d’Affaires to Sudan said the detentions undermine efforts to resolve the political crisis. “Arbitrary arrests and detention of political figures, civil society activists and journalists undermine efforts to resolve Sudan’s political crisis,” Lucy Tamlyn said in a tweet on Wednesday.

Sources from Yousif’s Sudanese Congress Party said he was arrested from the party headquarters by security forces and taken to the North Khartoum police station.

Tweets from Salih’s account said he was taken to the same station and then Omdurman Prison, along with another member of the task force and was under investigation regarding a charge of “breach of trust”.

Earlier this week, a committee appointed by military leaders to review the work of the task force accused it of overreach, citing the improper seizure of companies and cars.

Firings the task force had enacted in the central bank, judiciary and foreign ministry have been reversed.

Thousands of Sudanese marched against military rule on Monday in Khartoum and other cities, with some saying they were concerned about the return to government of members of the ousted Bashir regime.

Medics aligned with the protest movement say at least 79 people have been killed as security forces have moved to break up protests with tear gas and gunfire. The military and the police say peaceful protests are allowed, and that casualties are being investigated.

Further demonstrations are planned for Thursday and Monday.

(Reporting by Khalid AbdelazizWriting by Nafisa Eltahir, Lilian Wagdy and Aidan Lewis; Editing by Toby Chopra, Alex Richardson and Grant McCool)

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