Opposition Politicians To Face Trial

Panafrican News Agency (Khartoum), 13 January 2001

Six Sudanese opposition leaders accused of conspiring with the US to destabilise the Khartoum government are soon to face trial, Justice Minister Ali Osman Yassin announced Saturday.

“In the light of the investigations and interrogations, enough evidence was found to put them on trial,” Yassin said, adding that charges were being prepared against the politicians.

The Minister said the trial will be held “in the coming days,” but gave no further details.

On 6 December 2000, Sudanese State security said in a statement it arrested six members of the opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at a meeting they were holding with Glenns Warren, a diplomat in the US Embassy in Khartoum.

The six were identified as Ali el Sayed of the Democratic Unionist Party, Mohammed Suleiman of the out-lawed Higher Council of Trade Unions, Joseph Okelo, the NDA Secretary, Mohammed Mahjoub of the Sudanese Communist Party, Mohammed Widatalla of the Arab Ba’ath Party, and Stance Jimmy, an assistant to the NDA Secretary.

The statement claimed the meeting was drawing up plans for a popular uprising to be aided with armed action.

It also accused the men of planning to leak information that could help Col. John Garang's rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), to attack and occupy towns and sabotage government facilities.

The American diplomat was promptly declared persona non grata and ordered to leave Sudan by the Foreign Ministry.

Sudan is on Washington's blacklist for allegedly sponsoring State terrorism.