Sudan forces raid opposition group’s HQ

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(Xinhua/Mohamed Khidir)

KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Sudanese security forces raided the head office of a leading opposition group on Saturday, a day before huge protests that are planned to demand a transition to civilian rule, witnesses and a spokesman for the group said.

Sudan’s ruling military council and the opposition movement have been wrangling for weeks over how to manage a transition to elections since the military ousted long-time president Omar al-Bashir on April 11.

Security forces raided the Sudanese Professionals’ Association (SPA) office, where the group had been due to hold a news conference.

“This represents a violation of liberties that is even worse than the regime of the former president (Bashir),” Ahmed al-Rabie, an SPA spokesman, told Reuters. “This is a bad sign for the atmosphere of mediation between the two parties.”

The military council did not immediately comment. The SPA made no mention of arrests.

The news conference was planned ahead of protests called on Sunday by an opposition coalition, the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC), that the SPA is a part of. The opposition are hoping as many as a million people will join the protests, which they want to use to press the military council to hand power over to civilians.

The coalition said the protests would go ahead as planned.

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