Khartoum forces arrest Communist Party leader

Sudanese communist leader arrested as protests rage in Khartoum

A protester holds a Sudanese flag and chants during demonstrations in support of the civilian government, in Khartoum, Sudan, 21 October 2021. Thousands of people marched during a demonstration called by the Alliance of Forces for Freedom and Change, the Central Council Group to support the government of Abdullah Hamdok, while the army and police forces closed the roads leading to government headquarters and main markets. Hamdok resigned as prime minister on 2 January 2022. (Photo: EPA-EFE/MOHAMMED ABU OBAID)

KHARTOUM, May 19 (Reuters) - A leading Sudanese politician was arrested on Thursday as protests raged in the capital Khartoum for the seventh month against military rule, with tear gas and heavy security force deployment.

By Khalid Abdelaziz and Nafisa Eltahir

A military coup in October effectively ended a 2019 power-sharing deal between generals who overthrew President Omar al-Bashir, andpolitical parties that opposed him.

One of those parties, the Sudanese Communist Party, said its leader Mohamed Mukhtar Al-Khatib had been arrested on Thursday, following a visit to Juba where he met with leading Sudanese rebel leaders.

The party, which has been the most hardline against the coup and any future deal, was pursuing a unified front against the coup, it said.

Sudan’s economy has spiralled as its government has gone without a prime minister since January. Businesses are stagnating while citizens face steep increases in the prices of food, electricity and fuel.

“The military has failed economically, politically and psychologically – in every way,” said a 30-year-old protester and unemployed engineer who declined to give his name for fear of retribution. “They are just being stubborn now, but we are more stubborn.”

The protesters marched under the harsh sun as security forces, including the U.S.-sanctioned Central Reserve Police, were deployed at key points along the protest route.

(Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz and Nafisa Eltahir; Editing by Richard Chang)


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