SUDAN: PRESIDENTIAL 'GOODWILL AMNESTY' FOR CONVICTED SPLM-N REBELS
October 27, 2016: Sudan's President Omar Al Bashir has issued a decision to drop the remaining sentences against the members of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) who were convicted for their part in clashes with government forces in Ed Damazin in 2011.
A member the defence counsel, El Tijani Hassan, told Radio Dabanga that the decision includes 64 of the convicts, 17 of them sentenced to death in absentia, including by the head of the SPLM-N, Malik Aggar, and the Secretary General Yasser Arman. They also include Munnllah Hussein Huda, who was sentenced to death and jailed in Port Sudan.
El Tijani Hassan pointed that those who will be released are currently being held at El Huda prison in Omdurman, as well as Medani and Port Sudan prisons.
He attributed the decision to pardon the sentenced to the considerable efforts made by the native administration in the Blue Nile and government's goodwill towards armed movements after the outcomes of the national dialogue.
It has not been announced when those still in custody will be released.
In September 2011, Blue Nile witnessed heavy clashes and aerial bombardments as thousands fled, Sudan's armed forces clashed with the SPLM-N in Blue Nile state.
At the time, the fighting opened a third battle front in North Sudan, where conflict was ongoing in South Kordofan and Darfur. Both sides accused each other of starting the fighting. (Sources: Radio Dabanga, 27/10/2016)