El Sadig El Mahdi (L), Dr Amin Mekki Madani (C), and Minni Minawi (R), after the signing of the Sudan Appeal, 3 December 2014 (SRF)
Authorities in Sudan are preparing legal action against El Sadig El Mahdi, president of the National Umma Party (NUP), and Minni Arko Minawi, head of Sudan Liberation Movement faction, SLM-MM, and deputy-chairman of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF, an alliance of the main rebel movements).
The anticipated government measures include a request to Interpol to issue arrest warrants for both opposition leaders, based on their signing of the Sudan Appeal, a political communiqué calling for regime change, in Addis Ababa on 3 December last year.
The spokesman for the SLM-MM, however, downplayed the steps. “The government’s attempts to prosecute opposition leaders by international arrest warrants are nothing new”, Abdallah Mursal told Dabanga.
He stressed that the one who deserves international prosecution is President Omar Al Bashir. “He should have been arrested by Interpol and brought to trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague ages ago.”
El Mahdi and Minawi did not return to their home country after the signing of the Sudan Appeal. Faroug Abu Eisa, head of the National Consensus Forces, and Dr Amin Mekki Madani, chairman of the Civil Society Initiative, who also signed the political communiqué, were detained by security officers in Khartoum after their arrival from the Ethiopian capital on 6 December. They are charged with undermining the constitutional order, and instigating war against the state.
On 12 January, the NUP received a letter from the Political Parties Affairs Council in which it requested the party to reply within one week to a complaint submitted by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), because of the signing of the Sudan Appeal.
The NISS demanded action against the Umma Party under Article 19 of the 2007 Political Parties Act, for violating Articles 2, 4, and 40 of the 2005 Interim Constitution that prohibit registered parties to cooperate with armed rebel movements, and Article 14 of the Political Parties Act.