The Sudanese security authorities have arrested 51 members of the new opposition People's National Congress (PNC) party of Hassan al-Turabi and are hunting for two senior officials, the party said Saturday.
The government has blamed the PNC for inciting riots Wednesday in eastern Sudan and Monday in the west of the country where a female student was killed.
A PNC statement received by AFP listed the names of the detainees, including two party officials and a number of students, who have been arrested as of Saturday.
Twenty-four PNC members were detained in Fashir, in Northern Darfur state in western Sudan, and four in Nyala in Southern Darfur state farther south. Another 21 were arrested in Port Sudan, in eastern Red Sea State.
Those arrested included PNC youth secretary Salah Eddin al-Zain and PNC deputy students secretary Zuhair Hamid Bellah, the statement said.
The authorities are still looking for the former agriculture minister,PNC Deputy Secretary General al-Haj Adam Yusuf, and another senior PNC official, al-Sheikh Nur al-Din.
The official SUNA news agency quoted an unidentified "official" security source earlier Saturday as saying there was "a plot by a certain group targeting the country's unity, social structure and citizens' safety by inciting disorder and riots in the country's different states."
The source did not name names but government officials earlier accused the PNC of inciting riots in Fashir against schools' failure to reopen and shortages in water and electricity.
The PNC was also accused of being the hidden hand behind student demonstrators protesting against the imposition of school fees in Port Sudan.
The source said the authorities "are in possession of all the information about the plot," are watching the situation closely and "will take stern measures necessary for thwarting the conspiracy and safeguarding the country."
Turabi declared in June he was forming the PNC to break away from the ruling National Congress, crowning a split with President Omar al-Beshir, whom he helped to seize power in a 1989 coup.
In a power struggle that burst into the open last December, Beshir declared a state of emergency and ousted Turabi as parliamentary speaker by dissolving parliament, days before it was to vote on curbing presidential powers.
In May, Beshir, who is also NC chairman, suspended Turabi as the National Congress party's secretary general after efforts at compromise failed – KHARTOUM (AFP)
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