Sudanese anti-corruption figure freed on eve of political deal

Wagdi Salih’s Forces of Freedom and Change coalition had called his arrest in October ‘purely political’.

A Sudanese protester waves the national flag as they rally for a second day outside the military headquarters in the capital Khartoum on April 7, 2019. - Sudanese police fired tear gas at thousands of
Authorities have cracked down on regular mass anti-coup protests in Sudan [File- AFP]

A prominent Sudanese politician has been released from jail one day before the civilian coalition he belonged to was due to sign an initial deal with the military to end a political standoff triggered by an October 2021 coup.

Leftist politician Wagdi Salih, who was freed on Sunday at a police station in the capital Khartoum, was at the forefront of an anti-corruption committee set up after the removal of longtime Sudanese ruler Omar al-Bashir in 2019.

The committee, tasked with dismantling al-Bashir’s government, came under fire from generals who had been sharing power with the civilian Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) before they staged their takeover, halting a transition that was meant to lead to democratic elections.

Salih was freed along with a police officer who had served on the committee. His FFC coalition had called his arrest in October “purely political”.

Sudan has been without a prime minister since the coup, and its economy, already in crisis, has stagnated after billions of dollars in international financial assistance was suspended.

The military and the FFC announced on Friday that they intended to sign a framework agreement, along with other groups, for a civilian-led transition that would begin after a final deal is signed.

Talks have been facilitated by the United Nations, the United States, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, among others.

It is not the first time that authorities have arrested Salih. In February, security forced imprisoned him in the capital, Khartoum.

Source: Reuters