Sunday, November 21, 2021

Sudan Tribune

Plural news and views on Sudan

Political prisoners will be freed soon, al-Burhan tells U.S. diplomat


November 16, 2021 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s Head of the Sovereign Council Tuesday told the visiting U.S. Assistant Secretary for African Affairs that they would free soon all the political  detainees held after the military takeover.

Molly Phee arrived in Sudan on 14 November where she held a series of meetings with Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok, the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC), Foreign Minister Mariam al-Mahdi and Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

Ned Prince U.S. State Department Spokesperson told reporters in Washington on Monday that Phee was in Sudan to discuss “the path to the immediate restoration” of Hamdok and the civilian-led government established under that 2019 constitutional declaration.

In a statement released after the meeting with al-Burhan, the press service of the Sudanese presidency said that he reiterated his adherence to the constitutional declaration governing the transitional period and to hold comprehensive dialogue with all the political forces to complete the structures of the transitional authority.

“Regarding political detainees, al-Burhan said that measures for their release have already begun and that any detainee who is not proven guilty of a criminal offence will be released,” reads the statement.

Malik Agar a member of the Sovereign Council told Aljazeera TV on Tuesday that al-Burhan agreed to release all the political detainees as a confidence-building measure before negotiations to end the rift with the FFC groups.

The coup leaders justify the ouster of the civilian-led transitional government say that the FFC hijacked power and excluded other Sudanese political forces.

While the coalition of the political, armed and civil society groups says the military component seized power because they refuse to enforce the reform of the security sector agreed in constitutional declaration and fear justice.

For her part, al-Mahdi told Phee that the release of Prime Minister Hamdok and the other detainees should be the right approach for any negotiated solution, according to a statement she extended to Sudan Tribune after the meeting.

Further, “Reversing the coup decisions, returning to the Constitutional Document and restoring confidence through a national honour charter,” are needed before resuming the partnership with the military component, said the foreign minister loyal to Hamdok.

The U.S. Embassy in Khartoum said Phee met with al-Mahdi to show U.S. support for the civilian-led transitional government.

“Al-Mahdi has emerged as a powerful voice for the movement to restore democracy and fulfil the aspirations of the Sudanese people for freedom, peace, and justice,” added the statement.

The FFC council also released a statement after their meeting with the U.S. diplomat for Africa saying they repeated their rejection of the coup and their determination to topple it down through peaceful means.