Sudan arrests opposition SPLM leaders; prevents Al Jazeera from covering the demonstration

SPLM Secretary General Pagan Amum and his deputy Yassir Arman

SPLM Secretary General Pagan Amum and his deputy Yassir Arman

The Sudan Tribune is reporting that the Sudanese government arrested “SPLM Secretary General Pagan Amum and his deputy Yassir Arman”,  opposition leaders from the Sudanese People Liberation Movement (SPLM). In addition, Al Jazeera was prevented from covering the demonstration and had their tapes confiscated.

The detention of these SPLM leaders is a troublesome sign that the upcoming elections in Sudan in April 2010 will not be free and fair.

UPDATE: The leaders along with 500 other protesters have now been released.

UPDATE on Tuesday, December 7th:  I’m glad the US State Dept has condemned the use of violence against the protesters.  Here is what General Scott Gration had to say.

“I am deeply concerned about these developments and urge all parties to exercise restraint. Negotiations on issues of urgent importance to all of the Sudanese people cannot proceed in an atmosphere of intimidation.”

– Scott Gration

Read the complete article at Sudan Tribune.

Here is the statement from the US State Dept condemning the use of violence against protestors in Sudan.

Darfur… still genocide

Gration

U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan Scott Gration (Reuters)

Special envoy to Sudan, General Scott Gration does not seem to be in-sync with the US State Dept.  This past Wednesday, after a series of visits with the government of Sudan, he released a statement saying

“What we see is the remnants of genocide. What we see are the consequences of genocide, the results of genocide.”

On the other hand, the Assistant Secretary of the US State Department said

“We continue to characterize the circumstances in Darfur as genocide,”

This clearly contradicts General Gration’s earlier statement.  Is there room for debate? Is the situation in Darfur genocide?

I think so.  And General Gration’s boss agrees.

Read the complete article at the Sudan Tribune.