Sudan

Sudan says it will not permit any demonstrations by opposition

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December 16, 2009 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese government said it will categorically prevent any attempts to stage demonstrations saying that the conditions in the country are not suitable for this form of expression.

Sudanese presidential adviser Salah Gosh (Al-Rayaam) The Sudanese presidential adviser and the former director of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) Salah Gosh told a convention for the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) that the government will crack down "on any attempts to stir up the absurdity and the destabilization of the country's security".

Gosh was referring to two failed attempts this month by a coalition of Northern opposition parties and Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) to stage a rally after hundreds of riot police were deployed to the streets and party headquarters to prevent the demonstrators from taking the streets.

Sudanese police said that the organizers did not get proper permission to conduct the rally but opposition parties say they have notified the authorities as required under the law.

A number of senior SPLM figures were arrested along with hundreds of other opposition supporters. The purpose of the demonstrations was to deliver a memo to the parliament demanding the adoption of pro-reform laws.

Gosh accused the opposition parties of seeking to create a popular uprising to topple the government describing that scenario as "impossible". He added that the NCP is prepared to stop the absurdity of the opposition parties.

He challenged the opposition parties to "infiltrate" the security of the Sudanese capital even if supported by regional and international powers adding that the NISS has tight control over the security.

The former NISS director said that the NCP will teach the opposition parties "a brutal lesson during the elections" suggesting a landslide victory for the ruling party.

A political analyst speaking to Sudan Tribune from Khartoum said that Gosh is seeking to reinforce his image on the scene following his removal from the post as the spy chief last August.

"He is trying to say I am here and active on the scene. He also wants to show his loyalty to Bashir and the regime hence the strong language he used. It is quite unusual for someone who rarely made media interviews but given how shaken the NCP is after these demonstrations it is understandable" the analyst said.

The US condemned the crackdown by Sudanese authorities and called on Khartoum to allow peaceful freedom of expression without intimidation to allow for a conducive environment to hold the elections.

(ST)