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Sudan Government Bans SPLM Party and Arrests Supporters

File Photo of Yasir Arman, Secretary General of the SPLM's northern sector

Yasir Arman, secretary-general of the northern sector of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, said the government of Sudan has banned his party, closed its offices and has made sweeping arrests of members across the country. This happened against the backdrop of fresh fighting between Sudan Armed Forces and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Blue Nile state.

Damazine town, which is the state capital, is currently under the control of the Sudan Armed forces. President Omar Al Bashir has also fired the state governor Malik Agar and replaced him with Sudan Armed Forces garrison Commander Yahya Mohmamed Kheir.

Yasir Arman said this move by Khartoum is aimed at creating fear in Sudanese people who he said have been struggling to transform the nation into a functioning democracy. Arman further called on the international community to enforce a no-fly-zone over Blue Nile, Southern Kordofan and Darfur to avoid aerial bombardment of civilians in those areas by Sudan air force. The fighting in Blue Nile state began last Thursday and has already displaced 20,000 people, who have crossed into the Ethiopian border town of Asossa.

VOA’s John Tanza reached Yasir Arman in East Africa. You can hear his interview by clicking the link below, or at the top right of the page.


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    John Tanza

    John Tanza works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters and is the managing editor and host of the  South Sudan In Focus radio program.
    Before joining VOA, John worked in Nairobi, Kenya where he established the first independent radio station (Sudan Radio Service) for the people of Sudan. He has covered several civil wars both in Sudan and South Sudan and has been engaged in the production of civic education materials for creating awareness about post conflict issues facing Sudanese and South Sudanese. John has interviewed South Sudan President Salva Kiir, former Vice President Riek Machar, Vice President Wani Igga, leader of Sudan’s Umma Party Sadiq Al Mahdi in addition to other senior United Nations and U.S government officials in South Sudan and Washington. His travels have taken him across to Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Egypt, Ethiopia, Syria, DRC Congo and parts East Africa where he reported on the South Sudanese diaspora and the challenges facing them.
    A South Sudanese national, John enjoys listening to music from all over the world, reads academic books, watches documentaries and listens to various radio stations on the internet.  You can follow John on Twitter at @Abusukon