Sudan’s Turabi Arrested for Alliance with Rebel Leader
Security forces in Sudan arrested on Wednesday the Islamist leader Hassan al-Turabi, on the grounds of an alliance he announced a day earlier with John Garang, leader of the southern rebel group, the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), according to reports.
Turabi, head of the Popular National Congress (PNC), was arrested around 7:30 pm (1630 GMT) at his home in the capital, Khartoum, by President Omar al-Beshir's security forces, PNC deputy Mohammed Al-Amin Khalifa told AFP.
Turabi’s party and the SPLA have signed a memorandum of understanding in which they agreed to peaceful opposition of President Omar Al Bashir’s government.
The announcement was seen by Khartoum as a violation to the law.
"The government will not tolerate such acts and will safeguard the country's security and stability," Bashir said on TV.
Government officials were quoted as saying that political parties are allowed to contact Garang within the framework of national reconciliation, but what Turabi did was that he allied himself with the SPLA to topple the government.
For a decade after President Omar al-Bashir came to power in a military coup, Hassan al-Turabi was seen as the main ideologue behind his Islamist government, and the godfather of the revolution.
The understanding, reached in Switzerland earlier this week, took many by surprise, said BBC.online.
But Turabi himself defended the move in an interview with Al Jazira satellite channel and insisted that staging popular protests against Bashir is meant to gain changes into the people’s lives, including public freedom.
Turabi went at odds with President Bashir in 1999 and has since sought to present himself as a democracy activist.
The document his party signed with the SPLA calls for democracy, a just peace and a federal government – Albawaba.com
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