Sudan arrests opposition leader Hassan Al-Turabi
January 18, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese Islamist opposition leader, Hassan Al-Turabi, has been taken into custody by Sudan’s security members along with a handful of mid-rank members of his Popular Congress Party (PCP), Sudan Tribune has learned.
Members of Sudan state security arrived late on Monday at Al-Turabi’s house in Al-Manshia area in Khartoum and ordered him to leave with them immediately. A number of Al-Turabi’s close aides were also arrested.
Sudan Media Center (SMC), which is closely linked to the country’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) said that prisoners captured from the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) in West Darfur admitted their links and receiving support from Turabi’s party to carry out military campaigns in the restive region.
Al-Turabi was once the main ideologue and close ally of president Al-Bashir’s regime until he was ousted in a bitter power struggle with his fellow Islamists. Since his ousting in 1999, Al-Turabi has been active in opposition to Al-Bashir’s ruling National Congress Party from which he split to form the PCP.
On Monday, Al-Turabi gave an interview to AFP and warned that street protests similar to the ones that occurred in Tunisia could happen in Sudan if president Al-Bashir failed to share power.
The Sudanese government has long accused Al-Turabi of having strong ties with the Darfur rebel group Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) which recently suffered the capturing of some of its senior members by the Sudanese government in western Darfur.