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Sudan releases leading anti-coup figure

Sudanese authorities on Tuesday released a former minister and key opponent of last year's military coup after detaining him for more than two months, a lawyer said.

Sudanese flag. (Photo by AFP)

Sudanese authorities on Tuesday released a former minister and key opponent of last year’s military coup after detaining him for more than two months, a lawyer said.

Ex-cabinet affairs minister “Khaled Youssef has been freed,” according to chief defence lawyer Hisham al-Gaily.

Youssef was arrested on February 9, a day after he took part in talks with UN special representative Volker Perthes, as part of the international community’s attempts to broker a solution to the country’s political crisis.

A coupled by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan on October 25 last year derailed a fragile transition to civilian rule that had been established in the wake of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir’s fall from power in 2019.

Youssef is a leading figure in the sidelined main civilian bloc, the Forces of Freedom and Change.

Other key civilian figures remain behind bars, including former ruling council member Mohamed al-Fekki and FFC spokesman Wagdi Saleh.

Fekki and Saleh were senior members of a committee tasked with recovering properties seized by Bashir’s regime.

Authorities have accused the committee of misappropriating funds that it confiscated, something its members have consistently denied.

Burhan has pledged to release political detainees to set the stage for talks among Sudanese factions.

He has also promised to ease the state of emergency which has been in force since the coup.

His power grab triggered wide international condemnation as well as repeated mass protests.