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Khartoum. A top Islamist ally of Sudan’s ousted leader Omar al-Bashir was arrested Wednesday, a member of his party said, for his role in the 1989 coup that brought the ex-president to power.

Ali al-Haj, head of the Islamist Popular Congress Party (PCP) which was an ally of Bashir’s government, was taken to Kober prison in Khartoum where the former leader himself is being held.

“Haj was arrested and transferred this evening to Kober prison without any investigation or interrogation by the prosecution,” said PCP official Idris Suleiman).

“What the secretary general of the party has been subjected to is purely a political act that has nothing to do with law. This is the work of a failed government,” he told AFP.

Last week, the country’s umbrella protest movement, Forces of Freedom and Change, had said authorities had filed new charges against Bashir and some of his aides for “plotting” the 1989 coup.

It said separate warrants and travel bans were issued in connection with the coup against Bashir, Haj, Nafa Ali Nafa, Ali Osman Taha, Ibrahim al-Sanousi, Awad al-Jaz and Yousef Abdel Fattah.


Sanousi is the only one who is still free, while the other six are now all in jail.

Bashir, a brigadier at the time, seized power in an Islamist-backed coup that toppled the then elected government of prime minister Sadiq al-Mahdi.

The PCP was founded by late Islamist leader Hassan al-Turabi after he broke ties with Bashir’s then ruling National Congress Party.

Popular Congress Party later became an ally of Bashir’s government.

Bashir was ousted by the army in April after months of nationwide protests against his iron-fisted rule of three decades.

He is currently on trial in a Sudanese court on charges of illegally acquiring and using foreign funds.

The veteran leader is also wanted by The Hague-based International Criminal Court for alleged genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Darfur war.

Sudan is now ruled by a joint civilian and military sovereign council, which is tasked with overseeing a transition to civilian rule as demanded by the protest movement.

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