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Sudan Reports More Arrests of Politicians from Ousted Government

July 5, 1989

KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) _ Fifteen southern politicians who served in the ousted regime of Prime Minister Sadek Mahdi were arrested on corruption charges Tuesday, an official statement said, bringing the number of such arrests to 45.

Lt. Gen. Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir, head of the military junta that cast out Mahdi on Friday, said earlier that 30 people from northern Sudan were detained.

Among those arrested Tuesday were Angel Beda, head of the southern council; former Culture and Information Minister Yohannes Yor Akol, and Govs. Lawrence Modi Tombe and Gabriel Yal Dok of the Equatoria and Upper Nile regions.

The leadership ordered all southern police, prison and wildlife officers who had relocated to return to their positions. Many southern officers fled the civil war in the south and went to northern Sudan, claiming health reasons.

Bashir also said a number of militias in the capital city of Khartoum gave themselves up and those guarding Mahdi’s Umma Party headquarters fled after abandoning their weapons.

He gave no details. Many political parties in Sudan have militias loyal to them.

Members of the new leadership met Tuesday with President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt in Alexandria, Egypt, on their first visit abroad since the coup.

After a 2 1/2 -hour meeting with Mubarak, Brig. Gen. Faisal Abu-Saleh, head of the three-man delegation and a member of the Command Council of the National Salvation Revolution, thanked Egypt for its support of the coup and underlined the importance of close relations between the two neighbors.

″My people have asked me to convey thanks to big brother President Mubarak for all he has done for our nation and the revolution,″ Abu-Saleh said.

Relations between Cairo and Khartoum were strained before the coup. Mahdi last month said security forces foiled a plot to overthrow his government and restore to power former President Gafaar Nimeiri, who has lived in exile in Egypt since his ouster in 1985.

In an interview with Al-Khaleej newspaper of the United Arab Emirates, published Tuesday, Bashir denied that Egypt or Nimeiri helped him stage the overthrow.

″Egypt knew about the revolution only after its success and did not plan it with us,″ he was quoted as saying.

Nimeiri, who has described the officers who seized power as ″sincere patriots,″ cautioned them against conspiracies by communists, according to an interview published Tuesday in the Kuwaiti daily Al-Anbaa.

He was quoted as saying he has abandoned plans to return to power because the Friday coup ″fulfilled what I had in mind.″

Nimeiri said he cabled his congratulations and ″absolute support″ for Bashir’s 15-member Command Council of the National Salvation Revolution.

The pro-Western Nimeiri said the new leadership has ″to be vigilant and head off sabotage by communists as well as reactionary, partisan and sectarian forces,″ Al-Anbaa reported.

The paper quoted him as saying, ″My experiment as a ruler has prompted me to have a profound conviction that a Western-type democracy will fail in Sudan.″

In Moscow, the Soviet news agency Tass reported that Foreign Ministry spokesman Yuri Gremitskikh told a briefing Tuesday that ″developments that took place in Sudan on the night of June 30 are regarded in the Soviet Union as a purely internal matter of the Sudanese people.″

It said Gremitskikh expressed hope that the situation in Sudan ″would soon fully normalize and stabilize.″

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