Top South Sudan politicians arrested in Khartoum amid threats

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The Secretary General of the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM), Pagan Amum, and his deputy for Northern Sudan, Yasir Arman, have been arrested by police in Khartoum today.

According to Police in Khartoum, Amum was arrested while leading a protest march in front of the National Assembly. The SPLM and other opposition parties are calling for ammendments to key pieces of legislation.

Police official, Ahmed Budin said on phone from Khartoum, “He was arrested by police for holding an illegal demonstration. We did not grant permission to him to hold the domonstartion. He was breaking the law.”

He said that police had warned him against holding the demonstration but he went ahead to hold it.

The Kharoum ruling National Congress Party which is a partner of the SPLM to the 2005 peace deal has described the opposition demonstration as a “political weakness”.

But SPLM officials say that the arrest was done in bad spirit. Senior SPLM official, John Madit said, “We call upon an immediate release of Pagan Amum and Yasir Arman. Their arrest was uncalled for. They were demonstrating peacefully in good faith.”

He said that if the two are not released soon, they will call upon the people of southern Sudan to hold massive demonstrtions.

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