South Sudan government arrests opposition leader to counter protest

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Anti-government protestors

A Sudanese opposition party says more than 10 opposition leaders have been arrested ahead of the latest day of protests urging President Omar al-Bashir to resign.

The opposition had been fragmented across several small but influential political parties, which formed three separate coalitions, and the Sudanese Professionals Association, a union that has led calls for demonstrations which have posed the most significant challenge to Bashir in his nearly 30-year rule.

In a statement, the Sudanese Congress Party says security forces “pre-empted” demonstrations by arresting the deputy head of the Umma Party, Mariam Sadiq al-Mahdi; the party’s Secretary-General Sara Naqdallah; Communist Party leader Mokhtar al-Khatib, and others.

Sudan government arrests opposition leaders ahead of protest
Sudanese protesters

Later, police fired tear gas to disperse hundreds who had gathered to march, near the Arab Market area in Khartoum.

Sudan has been rocked by a wave of protests since December calling on al-Bashir, who seized power in a 1989 military coup, to step down. Activists say at least 57 people have been killed, but the government tally stands at 30.

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