Sudanese authorities arrest former member of ruling Sovereign Council

On Wednesday, authorities arrested ex-minister Khaled Omar Youssef and Wagdi Saleh, a spokesman for Sudan's Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC).

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

Army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan

Mohamed al-Fekki, a member of the Unionist Alliance party, was stopped by security forces while driving his car on his way home in the capital Khartoum, 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, in which the civilian leadership was ousted, derailing a fragile political transition to full civilian rule. 

Two party members told AFP on condition of anonymity that he was taken to an “unknown location”. Fekki was a member of Sudan’s ruling council, which led the country under a 2019 power-sharing deal between civilians and the military following the ouster of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir. He was removed from his position and initially kept in custody after the October coup, before being released.

On Wednesday, authorities arrested ex-minister Khaled Omar Youssef and Wagdi Saleh, a spokesman for Sudan’s main civilian bloc, the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC). The arrest of the two men 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 Fekki and Saleh, who were senior members of the committee tasked with recovering properties seized by Bashir’s regime. Authorities have accused the committee of misappropriating funds that it confiscated, but its members have consistently denied these accusations. 

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. 

Authorities have since 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.

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