Sudanese opposition sources revealed that two Sudanese rebel leaders were arrested right after a meeting with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who acts as a mediator in the Sudanese crisis about democratic transition of power.
Abiy called Sudan’s military rulers and civilian opposition to practice “bravery” in trying to settle steps towards democracy.
The Ethiopian premier visited days after Sudanese forces stormed a protest camp outside the Defence Ministry in Khartoum where demonstrators were demanding civilian rule. Dozens of people have been killed since Monday.
A few hours following the meeting with Abiy, two opposition figures were arrested, Ismail Jallab, secretary general of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), and the armed group’s spokesman Mubarak Ardol.
Abiy proposed to mediate after the opposition Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF) alliance’s discussions with the Transitional Military Council (TMC) over who will lead a transition period before elections had ground to a halt, then collapsed altogether after the raid on the protest camp., resulting in 113 people killed including three members of the security services.
The arrest of Jallab and Ardol came hours after Mohammad Esmat, another DFCF member, was taken into custody after he met with Abiy.
“This amounts to a practical response from the military council that effectively rejects the Ethiopian prime minister’s mediation effort,” Khalid Omar Yousef, a DFCF leader, told Reuters after Esmat’s arrest.
Yousef said that Abiy had proposed setting up a transitional council comprised of eight civilians and seven military officers with a rotating presidency. a secretary to the Ethiopian premier said the talks went well and that Abiy would be returning to Sudan soon.