Political arrests spark demonstrations in Khartoum

By Daily Maverick Legacy 8 December 2009

Protesters set fire to an office of the ruling National Congress Party in a southern Sudan town after three senior members of south Sudan's main political party were arrested in the capital, Khartoum. This won’t help Sudan’s attempts to cobble together national elections that may see the oil-rich south of the country secede by 2011. Police also arrested about 100 other people who demonstrated at Sudan's parliament despite an official ban. The three politicians were later released. The southern Sudan People's Liberation Movement's joined the government as a junior partner in 2005, ending a 22-year conflict between the Arab north and the black African south. But the SPLM and other opposition parties are demanding democratic reforms ahead of next year's elections. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir (who is wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague for war crimes in Darfur) heads the dominant northern party. Read more: Reuters, BBC, Council on Foreign Relations


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