SUDANESE OPPOSITION LEADER SADIQ AL-MAHDI RETURNS HOME AFTER TWO-YEAR EXILE
KHARTOUM, Leading Sudanese opposition figure Sadiq al-Mahdi of the National Umma Party (NUP) returned to Sudan on Thursday after spending two years in exile in Cairo, the Egyptian capital.
Mahdi, who heads one of Sudan's oldest political parties, was the country's last democratically elected prime minister.
He was overthrown in 1989 by an alliance of Islamists and military commanders that still form the nucleus of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir's all-powerful National Congress Party.
Sudan's government had accused Mahdi in 2014 of conspiring with armed rebels, a charge that could carry the death penalty, leading him to seek refuge in Cairo.
Later addressing hundreds of his supporters at Omdurman city, al-Mahdi vowed to stop the war and achieve peace and democratic transformation in Sudan.
Al-Mahdi said that he has returned to achieve specific goals represented in stopping the war and achieving peace and democratic transformation.
He urged the Sudanese government to release political detainees.
He further commended the recent U.S. decision of easing sanctions on Sudan, saying that "the first beneficiary of lifting the sanctions is the Sudanese people."
He urged the Sudanese government to fully respond to the U.S. offers for complete lifting of the sanctions.
Al-Mahdi left Sudan to France more than two years ago following a month in detention at Kober federal prison in Khartoum because of criticisms to Sudan's Rapid Support Forces, before he returned to settle in Cairo after signing Paris Declaration with the Sudanese armed groups in August 2014.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK