Panafrican News Agency

Sudan: Sudan denies arrest of civilians following meeting with US official

Khartoum, Sudan (PANA) - The Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has denied that its security forces arrested a group of civilians who met US Special Envoy to the Sudan, Donald Booth, during a visit to Darfur region late last month.

The Minister for Foreign Relations, Professor Ibrahim Ghandour, was quoted by the official Sudan news agency (SUNA) as saying on Wednesday that the envoy said after his tour that such an incident happened.

However, when the Ministry contacted the Sudanese National Security and Intelligence Service (NISS) it denied they arrested anybody and that this answer was forwarded to the US official, the minister said.

“This was the official response we received and which the American envoy is aware of. But maybe there was an arrest of someone by the local authorities,” the agency quoted the Minister as saying. “(But) we are aware that there are some quarters that seek to sabotage our efforts following the visit of the US envoy,” Prof. Ghandour said, without naming them.

About a week ago the US issued a statement calling on the Sudanese government to release all the displaced people who were detained in Nierteti in Central Darfur over the past two weeks.

The US Department of State said it was gravely concerned about the Sudanese government’s ongoing detention of Darfuri individuals, including one Sudanese national employee of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).

It said that the detentions followed the visit by US Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, Donald Booth, to North and Central Darfur late in July. Booth met and spoke with a number of displaced people in Nierteti on 27 July.

Prof. Ghandour asked why the government should resort to arresting the Darfuri when it was Khartoum that arranged the visit, adding that the government had nothing to hide.
-0- PANA MO/MA 17Aug2016