Sudanese president orders release of political prisoners
Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir has ordered the release of all political prisoners.
“Today, we announce a decision to free all the political prisoners and renew our commitment to all political powers about dialogue,” Bashir said in a speech opening a new session of parliament.
“We confirm we will continue our communication with all political and social powers without excluding anyone, including those who are armed, for a national dialogue which will bring a solution to all the issues.”
The announcement has been welcomed by the country’s opposition and Human Rights Watch, and comes at a time when tensions between the north and south have started to ease.
Farouk Abu Issa, who heads the opposition alliance of more than 20 parties, said Bashir’s announcement was “a step toward genuine dialogue”.
He said the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), which has been fighting government forces for almost two years in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, had been demanding a prisoner release.
Farouk Mohammed Ibrahim, of the Sudanese Organisation for Defence of Rights and Freedoms, said the announcement was “very good news” and “a step forward”.
He said there are “a large number” of detainees in South Kordofan and Blue Nile. These include 118 SPLM-N prisoners whose cases are being handled by his organisation in southern Blue Nile alone.
But SPLM-N chairman Malik Agar declined to comment on Bashir’s announcement, saying he was “not sure which political prisoners he is referring to”.
A diplomatic source called Bashir’s statements positive but said it is too early to know where they are leading.
“We should wait until we see clear results,” said the source, asking for anonymity. “Action is what counts here in Sudan.”
i think this is amazing..can you imagine it happening in a western country?
he might end up having to fight them in a few months..