Sudan intelligence agency in court challenge to opposition

2014-05-13 10:37

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Khartoum - Sudan's powerful intelligence service has filed a criminal complaint against the leader of a major opposition party, disputing claims a counter-insurgency unit looted, raped and committed arson, reports said on Tuesday.

The National Intelligence and Security Service laid the complaint against Umma party leader Sadiq al-Mahdi over comments made about the Rapid Support Forces at a news conference last week, according to identical newspaper reports.

Mahdi's office told AFP it had not received formal notice of any legal action by NISS.

Newspapers said NISS accuses Mahdi of releasing false information about the RSF, including claims that "non-Sudanese" belong to its ranks.

Mohamed Ibn Chambas, head of the African Union-UN peacekeeping mission in Darfur (Unamid), told the UN Security Council more than one month ago that activities of the RSF were of "particular concern" as violence rose to alarming levels in Darfur this year.

"They have perpetrated attacks on communities," Chambas said.

President Omar al-Bashir's chief assistant, Ibrahim Ghandour, has dismissed as "nonsense" suggestions government-linked forces were behind the violence.

The complaint by NISS against Mahdi comes as his party and others engage in a "national dialogue" with Bashir.

A senior opposition politician has told AFP the process might lead to a new, coalition government and that Bashir is pushing for "a real change" because he realises the country is "collapsing".

The security service is resisting the dialogue process, the politician said.

Read more on:    unamid  |  omar al-bashir  |  sudan  |  east africa
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