Date: Jun 8, 2019
Source: The Daily Star
Sudan forces arrest protest leaders who met Ethiopian PM
Agence France Presse
KHARTOUM: Sudanese security forces have arrested two prominent rebels and an opposition leader, a day after they met the Ethiopian premier during his reconciliation mission to Khartoum, their aides said Saturday.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who has emerged as a key regional leader, met representatives of both sides Friday in a bid to revive talks between Sudan's ruling generals and protest leaders after a deadly crackdown left dozens of people dead in the capital this week.

Among the protest movement delegates he met were opposition politician Mohamed Esmat and a leader of the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North, Ismail Jalab.

Sudanese security forces later arrested both men without giving any reason, their aides told AFP Saturday.

Esmat was arrested Friday soon after his meeting with Abiy.

Jalab was arrested from his residence early Saturday.

"A group of armed men came in vehicles at 3:00 a.m. [1:00 GMT] and took away Ismail Jalab ... without giving any reason," Rashid Anwar, an aide to Jalab, told AFP, adding that SPLM-N spokesman Mubarak Ardol was also detained.

"We don't know where they are being held," he added.

Esmat and Jalab are both leading members of the Alliance for Freedom and Change, which brings together opposition parties and rebel groups with the organizers of the mass protests that have gripped Sudan since December last year.

The arrest of Jalab comes just days after the SPLM-N's deputy leader, Yasir Arman, was seized from his home in Khartoum.

The rebel number two had returned to Khartoum from exile only late last month.

The SPLM-N has led to uprisings among non-Arab ethnic minorities in Blue Nile and South Kordofan states since 2011, which Sudan's military rulers had vowed to end peacefully after their overthrow of longtime president Omar al-Bashir in April.