World Bulletin/News Desk
Hundreds gathered on Thursday outside Sudan's state security prosecution office in Khartoum to voice support for former Sudanese prime minister Al-Sadek al-Mahdi, who is currently being interrogated for allegedly "insulting" the country's intelligence and security apparatuses.
Al-Mahdi, who heads Sudan's National Umma Party (NUP), is expected to hold a press conference later on Thursday at which he will issue a statement, Anadolu Agency has learned.
According to the official summons for al-Mahdi, the 78-year-old veteran politician is accused by security and intelligence bodies of defaming security and intelligence personnel currently working with the Sudanese army in its fight against armed rebels in the western Darfur region, a NUP stronghold.
Al-Mahdi, for his part, dismisses the charges against him as "null and void."
The charges against al-Mahdi come after tension had appeared to ease between opposition forces and President Omar al-Bashir – who overthrew al-Mahdi's elected government in 1989 – after al-Bashir had invited the opposition to take part in a national dialogue initiative.
In recent months, opposition forces have criticized Sudanese police forces fighting alongside the army in Darfur, which the rebels accuse of staging attacks based on ethnicity.
Darfur has been ravaged by conflict since 2003, when three homegrown rebel groups took up arms against the Khartoum government.
The U.N. says that some 300,000 people have been killed in the long-running conflict and some 1.8 million displaced.Last Mod: 15 Mayıs 2014, 17:11