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» 07.06.2010 - Sudan protests Uganda non-invitation of al-Bashir
» 28.05.2010 - "al-Bashir would be arrested in SA" - Zuma
» 17.05.2010 - Sudan's Islamist leader Turabi arrested
» 26.02.2010 - Darfur mission receives helicopters
» 24.02.2010 - Ban calls for definitive settlement in Darfur
» 10.02.2010 - Sudan-Chad agree to end wars
» 09.02.2010 - ICC drops charges against a Darfurian rebel
» 04.02.2010 - Additional genocide charge for al-Bashir

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Politics | Human rights | Society

Sudan politicians arrested over a rally

afrol News, 7 December - Sudanese southerners have been arrested for holding a banned a rally against the President, Omar al-Bashir and his National Congress Party (NCP). Those arrested included SPLM secretary general, Pagan Amum.

Local reports said the tensions are currently rising, as the country heads for next year's presidential, parliamentary and local elections. This will be the first in 24 years between SPLM and NCP.

The arrests sparked anger in the south, where NPC offices in two towns were also set alight by protesters.

The SPLM joined a power-sharing government in 2005 to end 22 years of conflict between north and south Sudan.

Today is the final day for voters to register for the election, and the government declared it a public holiday in an effort to encourage a good turnout.

Police had announced that the demonstration to push for reforms ahead of national elections and over an independent referendum for south Sudan would be considered illegal.

Police reportedly clashed with the several hundred protesters in Khartoum and Omdurman, using tear-gas and beating them with batons before the crowds dispersed, according to witnesses.

Among those arrested were Siddig al-Turabi, son of veteran Islamist opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi, and Khartoum state minister for health Barmina Awrial, along with more than 70 of the demonstrators.

The SPLM and the NCP have failed to agree on democratic reforms ahead of elections next April and on a procedural law for the south's referendum scheduled for January 2011.

The national vote will be the first in Sudan since 1986, three years before President Al Bashir toppled a democratically elected government in a bloodless military coup.

Registration for regional, legislative and presidential elections began on 1 November and was extended until Monday after a request from opposition parties and the former southern rebels.

Semi-autonomous southern Sudan has been controlled by the SPLM since a peace deal in 2005 ended the civil war. A referendum on whether the south should secede is due in 2011.

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