Sudan security forces detain opposition leader

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 25, 2015 12:39 PM

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan's security forces detained one of the country's leading opposition figures on Wednesday along with two other members of the country's main opposition coalition, a spokesman for the coalition said.

Sadiq Youssef, an 85-year-old leader of the National Consensus Forces, which opposes Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, was arrested at his home on Wednesday.

Two other members of the opposition coalition were also detained.

"This afternoon, elements from the security services arrested three leaders from the opposition coalition, among them Sadiq Youssef," the spokesman said. "We are very worried about his health because he suffers from several diseases."

The spokesman said that Youssef's whereabouts were unknown and no immediate reason was given for his arrest.

Bashir, who took power in a 1989 coup, is accused of masterminding genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes during Sudan's Darfur conflict. He is wanted by the Hague-based International Criminal Court, which issued a warrant for his arrest in 2009. He denies wrongdoing.

The 72-year-old president extended his rule in April, when he was re-elected with over 94 percent of votes after most opposition groups boycotted the vote. He called for a national dialogue early last year, but scant headway has been made. Youssef's group boycotted both the vote and the dialogue.

Sudan has been suffering from an economic crisis since South Sudan seceded in 2011, costing Khartoum over 70 percent of its oil revenues.

(Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing Eric Knecht; Editing by Ahmed Aboulenein, Larry King)