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Sudan Begins Release of Political Prisoners

Political prisoners walk out after their release from Kober Prison in Khartoum, April 2, 2013.
Authorities in Sudan have released seven political prisoners, a day after Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir ordered the release of all political detainees.

The six men and one woman were released early Tuesday from Kober Prison in Khartoum. They are all members of country's main political opposition alliance.

They had been held since January, after signing a document in Uganda that calls for the overthrow of President Bashir.

At Monday's opening of parliament, Bashir ordered the release of all political detainees as part of efforts to hold a dialogue with rebel and opposition groups on a new constitution.

Authorities in Sudan are believed to be holding hundreds of other protesters and opposition figures.

The government has been fighting rebel groups in Darfur since 2003 and other rebels in two southern states since 2011.

It was not clear when other prisoners may be released.

The move comes as tensions begin to ease in Sudan after it reached an agreement last month with South Sudan to end hostilities and resume cross-border oil flows. The two neighbors came close to war a year ago.

President Bashir has led Sudan since seizing power in a 1989 coup. He has said he intends to step down when his current term as president ends in 2015.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.