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Sudan Leader Warns Against 'Political Islam'

SPLM-N Secretary General Yasir Arman and South Sudan in Focus Host John Tanza at VOA's studio in Washington, D.C. (Courtesy photo)
A leading Sudanese architect of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended Sudan's long civil war has warned Africa and the West against allowing the "political Islam" that is favored by Khartoum to gain ground in Africa.

"Political Islam-based movements in Africa are threatening African unity and stability," Yasir Arman, Secretary General of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), said in an interview with VOA News during a visit to Washington.

"There are millions of Muslims in Africa, but they belong to... the tolerant Islam that accepts others," Arman said.

"Political Islam, their biggest failure is that they don't accept diversity, they don't accept other religions like Christianity, which is another African religion. And now they're seriously ruling some African countries," he said.

Arman is visiting the United States at the invitation of the office of the U.S. special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan.

Arman, who is Muslim, called on other Muslims to take the lead in the fight against 'political Islam', and urged them to "not accept their misleading agenda," which he said goes "against the interests of Islam" and Africa.

To listen to the entire interview with Arman, click on the link below.

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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