Authorities in Sudan on Wednesday arrested four opposition leaders including veteran politician Sadiq Youssef as part of a crackdown on protests, the country’s opposition coalition says.
The capital, Khartoum has seen a series of small but rare protests over the past week amid rising prices and government austerity measures that have included price hikes on electricity and fuel as well as import restrictions.
Sudan’s economy has struggled since South Sudan seceded in 2011, taking with it three-quarters of the country’s oil output, a key source of foreign currency and government revenue.
Youssef is one of the country’s most recognised politicians and a leader of the National Consensus Forces, a political coalition that opposes Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.
Bashir, who took power in a 1989 coup, is accused of masterminding genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes during Sudan’s Darfur conflict.
He is wanted by the Hague-based International Criminal Court, which issued a warrant for his arrest in 2009. He had denied any wrongdoing.
National Consensus Forces spokesman Mohammed Dia al-Din was also arrested, along with Manzar Abu al-Maali and Tareq Abdel Mageed from the opposition coalition.