SUDAN WATCH: Sudan court orders vote re-run after YouTube "fraud" film - Al-Turabi arrested - Security Situation in Darfur 17 May

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sudan court orders vote re-run after YouTube "fraud" film - Al-Turabi arrested - Security Situation in Darfur 17 May

THE security situation in Darfur remains tense following reports on Friday 14 May of fighting in Jebel Moon, West Darfur, between the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudanese Armed Forces, which claim to have killed over a hundred JEM fighters.

In addition, JEM forces have withdrawn from Shangil Tobaya, North Darfur. UNAMID patrols to the area have resumed and the Mission is planning a series of assessment missions to Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps near Shangil Tobaya to verify the number of people who settled there after leaving New Shangil Tobaya camp last week.

Meanwhile, Sudanese security agents have arrested the opposition Popular Congress Party leader Hassan al-Turabi and closed down his party's newspaper Al Rai Al Shab.

Armed officers detained Turabi in his Khartoum home late on Saturday and took him to Khartoum's Kober prison. SRS spoke to Al-Turabi’s wife, Wisal Al-Mahdi, on Sunday who described what happened.

Reportedly, a security source told Reuters Turabi's detention may have been related to his alleged links to the Darfur rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). Turabi denies any link.

Also, in other news, Reuters reported that Sudan's Supreme Court ordered a re-run of a state assembly election in Red Sea state after an opposition group sent in a video that appeared to show officials stuffing ballot boxes, the National Elections Commission said on Sunday.

"The video was submitted to the court. They cancelled the elections and said they had to be repeated," said commission spokesman Abu Bakr Waziri. The video was originally posted on online video site YouTube.

Further details below.

Darfur / UNAMID Daily Media Brief 2010-05-17
From United Nations – African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)
EL FASHER (DARFUR), Sudan, May 17, 2010/APO:
Security situation in Darfur
The security situation in Darfur remains tense following reports on Friday 14 May of fighting in Jebel Moon, West Darfur, between the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudanese Armed Forces, which claim to have killed over a hundred JEM fighters.

In addition, JEM forces have withdrawn from Shangil Tobaya, North Darfur. UNAMID patrols to the area have resumed and the Mission is planning a series of assessment missions to Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps near Shangil Tobaya to verify the number of people who settled there after leaving New Shangil Tobaya camp last week.

Senegalese battalion advance party arrives in El Fasher
A two hundred-member advance party of a military battalion has arrived today in El Fasher, North Darfur, from Dakar, Senegal, to begin preparations for the deployment of the main body, expected to arrive in July.

The troops will be deployed in West Darfur, where they will be the second Senegalese battalion operating in the region. The peacekeepers will be tasked with patrolling villages and IDP camps as well as safeguarding the movements of aid organisations.

Senegal currently has contributed 826 troops and 161 police officers to the Mission. The new arrivals bring UNAMID’s total military force to 17,304 peacekeepers, representing over 88 percent of its authorized strength.

UNAMID Patrols
UNAMID military forces conducted 76 patrols including routine, short-range, long-range, night, and humanitarian escort patrols, covering 68 villages and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps during the reporting period.

UNAMID police advisors also conducted 126 patrols in villages and IDP camps.
Al-Turabi Arrested By Sudanese Authorities
From SRS (Sudan Radio Service) Monday, 17 May 2010:
(Khartoum) – Sudanese security agents have arrested the opposition Popular Congress Party leader Hassan al-Turabi and closed down his party's newspaper.

Armed officers detained Turabi in his Khartoum home late on Saturday and took him to Khartoum's Kober prison.
SRS spoke to Al-Turabi’s wife, Wisal Al-Mahdi, on Sunday. She described what happened.

[Wisal Al-Mahadi]: “They came at 11:30 p.m. and requested to meet Sheikh Hassan for interrogation but they didn’t have any documents. There was a Doshka and pickups with heavy weapons and a long column of security personnel in front of the house. The senior officer entered the house and we talked to him. Al-Turabi’s daughter chased him from the house, telling him that if he wants Sheikh Hassan he will come to them outside. He refused standing near the chair. Then he left. When we went outside the house, there were two Doshkas and all the roads were closed. They took Sheikh Hassan with his children and guards. They went to the political security department claiming they wanted to interrogate him. Then he was taken to Kober prison. They forbid him any food or drink except by permission from the security headquarters which is impossible to get these days, as the whole government is engaged with what is happening in Darfur.”

Wisal said Al-Turabi’s arrest is linked to the Darfur crisis.

[Wisal Al-Turabi]: “I think the government is thinking that we are helping our brothers in Darfur. The government has been killing our brothers in Darfur now for the last eight years. Nobody has managed to resolve this issue because they don’t want peaceful solutions - just military solutions. But they didn’t succeed because the International Criminal Court has been monitoring them. That is why al-Bashir is being investigated. I am afraid they will transfer him to another place so as to distance him from his family.”

Wisal Al-Mahdi, al-Turabi’s wife was speaking to SRS on Sunday.
Opposition supporters demonstrate in Khartoum

Photo: Opposition supporters demonstrate against the arrest of Popular Congress Party leader Hassan al-Turabi outside his party's headquarters in Khartoum May 16, 2010. (Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)

Sudan security close opposition party paper
From Reuters (Reporting by Andrew Heavens, Khaled Abdelaziz and Opheera McDoom; Editing by Jon Boyle) - Monday, 17 May 2010 - excerpt:
* Security says Turabi "summoned" for questioning
* Court orders vote re-run after YouTube "fraud" film

Early on Sunday, security officers raided Turabi's party newspaper Rai Al-Shaab and arrested several journalists, senior officials from his Popular Congress Party (PCP) told reporters.

A security source told Reuters Turabi's detention may have been related to his alleged links to the Darfur rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), which has clashed with Sudan's army over the past week. Turabi denies any link.

Separately, Sudan's Supreme Court ordered a re-run of a state assembly election in Red Sea state after an opposition group sent in a video that appeared to show officials stuffing ballot boxes, the National Elections Commission said on Sunday.

"The video was submitted to the court. They cancelled the elections and said they had to be repeated," said commission spokesman Abu Bakr Waziri. The video was originally posted on online video site YouTube.
Suspended newspaper Al Rai Al Shab not part of Journalist Union
From MirayaFM - Monday, 17 May 2010:
The Chairman of the Sudanese Journalist Union, Mahi el-Din Titawi, said that Al Rai Al Shab newspaper faced a publication suspension because the newspaper rejected regulations issued by the Journalist Union according to the Press Charter. Titawi stated that because the newspaper is not part of the Journalist Union, other institutions will interfere under the premise of protecting general safety and security.
Sudan: Election fraud caught on video?
From Global Voices - 22 April 2010 by Ndesanjo Macha:
A video showing election fraud in Sudan is being circulated online. Sudan's National Elections Commission has dismissed it as fake. The video shows election officials stuffing ballot boxes. Opposition groups claim that the video proves their claims of election rigging by the ruling National Congress Party (NCP). Full story.
News from SRS - Sudan Radio Service:
17-May-2010


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