Sudan arrests former ruling council member again

Mohamed al-Faki is one of the Sovereign Council members who dealt with dismantling Omar al-Bashir’s political, financial network.

Sudan's Sovereignty Council spokesman Mohamed al-Faki
Sudan's Sovereignty Council spokesman Mohamed al-Faki Suleiman speaks during an interview in the capital Khartoum on December 21, 2020. [File: Ebrahim Hamid/AFP]

Sudanese authorities have arrested a former civilian member of the ruling Sovereign Council, according to members of his party – the latest in a wave of arrests since last year’s coup.

Mohamed al-Faki Suleiman, a member of the Unionist Alliance party, was stopped by security forces while driving home in the capital Khartoum on Sunday, the party said in a statement.

It is the second time he has been arrested since an October 25 military takeover led by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, an episode that could derail a fragile political transition to full civilian rule.

Faki was removed from his position and initially kept in custody after the October coup, before being released.

Two party members told AFP on condition of anonymity that al-Faki was taken to an “unknown location” this time.

The public prosecutor’s office could not be reached for comment on the latest arrest.

On Wednesday, authorities arrested former Minister Khaled Omar Youssef and Wagdi Saleh, a spokesman for Sudan’s main civilian bloc, the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC).

All three men were part of Sudan’s ruling council, which led the country under a 2019 power-sharing deal between civilians and the military following the overthrow of longtime leader Omar al-Bashir.

Prior to the military takeover in October, the trio had engaged in a war of words with military leaders. They were also part of a task force working to dismantle Bashir’s political and financial network.

Authorities have accused the committee of misappropriating funds that it confiscated, but its members have consistently denied these accusations.

The arrest of Youssef and Saleh came one day after they joined an FFC delegation for talks with UN special representative Volker Perthes, as part of efforts launched last month aiming to resolve the deepening crisis.

The US, British and Norwegian diplomatic missions in Sudan condemned the arrests of Faki and Saleh.

The October military power grab was the latest in a number of coups in Sudan since its independence, and sparked widespread international condemnation and punitive measures.

Since then, authorities have cracked down on regular mass anti-coup protests, leaving at least 79 people dead and hundreds wounded, according to medics.

Hundreds of people including politicians, activists, and journalists have been arrested.

Source: News Agencies