US embassy cable - 89KHARTOUM12704

GOS RELEASES SADIQ, MOHAMMED OSMAN AND TURABI

Identifier: 89KHARTOUM12704
Wikileaks: View 89KHARTOUM12704 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Khartoum
Created: 1989-11-19 14:51:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: PHUM PGOV PINR SU
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
O 191451Z NOV 89
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0250
AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA NIACT IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI IMMEDIATE
INFO AMEMBASSY CAIRO
AMEMBASSY KAMPALA
AMEMBASSY LONDON
AMEMBASSY MOGADISHU
AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
AMEMBASSY PARIS
AMEMBASSY RIYADH
USCINCCENT MACDILL AFB FL
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 12704 
 
FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY 
 
NAIROBI PLEASE PASS TO CARTER PARTY 
 
E.O. 12356:  N/A 
TAGS:  PHUM, PGOV, PINR, SU 
SUBJECT:  GOS RELEASES SADIQ, MOHAMMED OSMAN AND TURABI 
 
1.  SUMMARY.  THE GOS RELEASED NOVEMBER 17 THE DETAINED 
LEADERS OF ALL POLITICAL PARTIES EXCEPT THE COMMUNIST 
PARTY.  GENERAL OMAR AL-BASHIR TOLD PRESIDENT CARTER THAT 
ONLY FOURTEEN POLITICAL PRISONERS ARE STILL DETAINED.  WE 
ESTIMATE THE NUMBER OF POLITICAL DETAINEES, MOSTLY 
UNIONISTS AND SUSPECTED COMMUNISTS, HAVE DECLINED 
SUBSTANTIALLY TO ABOUT 150.  THE RELEASES APPARENTLY ARE 
PART OF AN ONGOING EFFORT TOWARD NATIONAL RECONCILIATION 
THAT SEEKS TO BROADEN THE BASE OF THE GOVERNMENT.  SEPTEL 
WILL INCLUDE NAMES AND BIOS OF ALL DETAINEES.  THE 
FOLLOWING ARE ONLY THE MOST PROMINENT.  END SUMMARY. 
 
2.  PARTY LEADERS RELEASED ON NOVEMBER 17 INCLUDE: 
 
-- SADIQ AL MAHDI OF THE UMMA PARTY.  SADIQ WAS PRIME 
MINISTER FROM 1986 UNTIL THE JUNE 30 COUP; 
 
-- MOHAMMAD OSMAN AL MIRGHANI, LEADER DEMOCRATIC UNIONIST 
PARTY (DUP).  MOHAMMAD OSMAN IS ALSO RELIGIOUS LEADER OF 
THE KHATMIYYA RELIGIOUS SECT; 
 
-- HASSAN AL-TURABI OF THE NATIONAL ISLAMIC FRONT (NIF); 
TURABI SERVED AS MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND ATTORNEY 
GENERAL/MINISTER OF JUSTICE UNDER SADIQ FROM JULY 1988 TO 
MARCH 1989.  TURABI'S PARTY WAS IN OPPOSITION AT THE TIME 
OF THE COUP; 
 
-- ELIABA JAMES SUROUR OF THE PROGRESSIVE PEOPLES PARTY 
(PPP), AN EQUATORIAN-BASED PARTY.  SUROR SERVED AS 
OPPOSITION LEADER IN THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY FROM JULY 
1988 TO APRIL 1989.  A PROMINENT SOUTHERN POLITICIAN, HE 
ALSO HEADED A SOUTHERN OPPOSITION ALLIANCE, THE UNITED 
SOUTHERN AFRICAN PARTY (USAP); 
 
-- SAMUEL ARU BOL OF THE SOUTHERN SUDAN POLITICAL 
ASSOCIATION (SSPA), A DINKA-BASED PARTY FORMED IN 1985. 
ARU BOL HEADED A PRO-SPLM FACTION THAT OPPOSED SADIQ 
UNTIL APRIL 1989. 
 
3.  GENERAL OMAR AL-BASHIR TOLD VISITING FORMER PRESIDENT 
CARTER THAT ONLY FOURTEEN POLITICAL PRISONERS REMAINED 
DETAINED, WE ASSUME AFTER THE RELEASE OF THESE 
DETAINEES.  THIS NUMBER, HOWEVER, PROBABLY DOES NOT 
INCLUDE MANY UNIONISTS AND PERSONS OFFICIALLY 
UNAFFILIATED WITH A PARTY WHO COULD BE CONSIDERED 
POLITICAL DETAINEES.  WE ESTIMATE THAT THE NUMBER OF 
THESE DETAINEES HAS DROPPED SIGNIFICANTLY IN THE LAST TWO 
MONTHS TO ABOUT 150 (FROM OVER 400). 
 
4.  FORMER FOREIGN MINISTER MOHAMMED TEWFIQ (DUP) AND 
SADIQ'S WIFE SARRA AL-FADIL AL-MAHDI ARE AMONG A NUMBER 
OF OTHER POLITICIANS RELEASED (SEPTEL). 
 
5.  THOSE IDENTIFIED WITH THE SUDAN COMMUNIST PARTY (SCP) 
REMAIN IN PRISON, INCLUDING SCP CHIEF MOHAMMAD IBRAHIM 
NUGUD, AL-TIJANI AL-TAYEB, AND JOSEPH MODESTO.  ALL 
SOUTHERN POLITICIANS HAVE NOW BEEN RELEASED EXCEPT 
MODESTO AND YOHANNES AKOL (A FORMER MEMBER OF THE 
ASSEMBLY AND LAM AKOL'S BROTHER).  PROMINENT NONCOMMUNIST 
POLITICIANS STILL DETAINED INCLUDE FORMER FOREIGN AND 
INTERIOR MINISTER SID AHMED AL-HUSSEIN (DUP SECRETARY 
GENERAL AND VERY ANTI-NIF), FORMER FINANCE, ENERGY AND 
INFORMATION MINISTER BASHIR OMER (UMMA), FORMER STATE 
COUNCIL MEMBER IDRIS AL-BANNA (UMMA) AND OSMAN OMER 
AL-SHARIF (DUP). 
 
6.  COMMENT.  FORMER PRESIDENT CARTER'S VISIT TO KHARTOUM 
NOVEMBER 17-18 PROBABLY PLAYED A ROLE IN THE TIMING OF 
THE LONG-RUMORED RELEASES OF POLITICAL PARTY LEADERS. 
THE RELEASES APPEAR TO BE PART OF AN ONGOING EFFORT BY 
THE RCC TOWARD DEFUSING OPPOSITION AND BROADENING THEIR 
BASE OF SUPPORT.  THE PARTY LEADERS WERE APPARENTLY 
RELEASED UNCONDITIONALLY AFTER PARTY REPRESENTATIVES 
SIGNED A DOCUMENT SUPPORTING GOS EFFORTS TOWARD NATIONAL 
RECONICILIATION.  MANY SUDANESE BELIEVE A CABINET 
RESHUFFLE BRINGING DUP, UMMA AND NIF MEMBERS INTO THE 
GOVERNMENT MAY BE IN THE CARDS. 
 
 
CHEEK 

Latest source of this page is cablebrowser-2, released 2011-10-04