Sudan frees ex-officials in effort to end political impasse

Sudan National Flag Waving on pole against sunny blue sky background. High Definition
Sudan National Flag. (Photo by Getty Images)

Sudanese authorities released two outspoken former government officials from prison, lawyers said Wednesday, as part of trust-building measures amid efforts to end the country’s political impasse.

Sudan was plunged into turmoil after an October military coup upended its short-lived transition to democracy.

Khalid Omar, a former minister of Cabinet affairs, was released late Tuesday and Mohammed al-Faki Suliman, a former member of the ruling Sovereign Council, walked free from a prison in the capital of Khartoum on Wednesday, their defense team said.

The Criminal Court in northern Khartoum rejected prosecutors’ request to renew their detention pending investigations into an array of vague charges, including betrayal of the public trust, according to their lawyers.

Both Omar and Suliman had been detained along with dozens of other officials during the October 25 coup and were released a month later as part of a deal between the military and Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. The premier resigned in January after failing to bridge the gap between the generals and the protest movement.

The two men were rearrested in February amid a crackdown by the generals on anti-coup groups. Dozens of activists were also detained amid protests against the military’s takeover.