The powerful Sudanese Communist Party ended up in the military junta’s crosshairs this week. Several of its leaders were arrested when they returned from South Sudan, through which they had passed after visiting the rebel movements Kordofan and the Blue Nile.
They are senior leaders too Communist Party, and not least, who have been worried about the military junta this week. Its own leader and general secretary, Moukhtar al-Khatib, was arrested at his home on Thursday evening, May 19, along with another leader. Both were finally released on Friday after a night in custody.
They had just returned from a trip to Juba, the capital of South Sudan, and Kaunda, South Kordofan. There, they met the leaders of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, Abdelaziz al-Hilu, and the Sudan Liberation Movement, Abdelwahid al-Nour. Their goal, according to their party, was to persuade the two rebels to join the members of the Khartoum civilian opposition coalition, in an alliance of forces opposed to any agreement with the military.
Because the Communist Party, just like the Umma Party, is at the forefront when it comes to resisting compromises with the junta. The first, who weighs heavily in popular mobilization, also refused on Tuesday to take part in the discussions currently being organized by the UN, the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to find a way out of the crisis. The other, present at the meeting, reiterated that he refused any “partnership” with the military.
During their visit to Juba, the Sudanese communist leaders had already been detained one night at their hotel by the South Sudanese authorities, before being allowed to go to Khartoum on the instructions of President Salva Kiir himself. They were accused of not informing about the political purpose of their visit, namely to get the rebels together.
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