, KHARTOUM, Sept 9 – Sudanese authorities on Tuesday released a senior member of the opposition Umma Party who was detained last month after the party reached a deal to cooperate with rebels.
Mariam al-Mahdi, deputy leader of the party led by her father Sadiq al-Mahdi, “has been released,” Umma’s youth leader Mohammed Mahdi said on his Facebook page.
His statement gave no more details but pictured Mariam al-Mahdi speaking on the telephone and gathered with her sisters.
The official SUNA news agency, in a brief dispatch, confirmed that Mahdi has been freed.
In May, Sadiq al-Mahdi himself was also detained by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), spending a month in custody.
His case sparked concern from Western governments and raised questions about the Sudanese regime’s commitment to a “national dialogue” aimed at resolving the impoverished, war-ravaged country’s problems.
Security agents arrested Mariam al-Mahdi on August 12 at Khartoum airport after she arrived from talks in Paris between Umma and the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF), an alliance of anti-regime armed movements from Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.
At the Paris meeting, Sadiq al-Mahdi signed a deal with SRF chairman Malik Agar to work together to solve Sudan’s crises, although Umma supports non-violent change.
Mariam al-Mahdi did not respond to telephone calls from AFP on Tuesday.