Sudan Detains Opposition Heads who Met with Mediating Ethiopian PM
Ismail Jallab, identified as the secretary-general of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), and Mubarak Ardol, the group’s spokesman, were arrested on Saturday within hours of meeting with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Ahmed had arrived in Khartoum for a day-long visit on Friday in an effort to mediate sticking points between civilians and the military in a proposed transition to democracy after the April 11 ouster of strongman Omar al-Bashir. He held separate meetings with the civilians and with members of the Transitional Military Council (TMC), headed by top generals. What started out as a good working arrangement between civilian protest leaders and the TMC has for the most part broken down, primarily, according to experts, due to vastly differing points of view among the generals. Last week, security forces attacked the longtime site of a sit-in manned by civilian protesters, and while government sources eventually placed the number of deaths at over 60, opposition leaders say it’s twice that number. Other members of organized opposition groups have been arrested as well, including Mohammad Esmat, a leading protest figure who was also detained after meeting with Abiy.