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.