Sudan PM ‘comes to save people from fighting’

BBC World Service/Youssef Al Fihri

Khartoum’s Prime Minister Ibrahim Ghandour (right) is met by Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir (left)

The Sudanese prime minister freed from house arrest on Saturday and flown to Cairo has defended a ceasefire deal with the armed opposition, saying it would prevent bloodshed.

“People in the east and the north could suffer a lot of fighting… that’s why I am here to save the people,” Ibrahim Ghandour told the BBC’s world affairs editor Jeremy Bowen.

Mr Ghandour was arrested in April last year while returning from South Sudan.

The prime minister said the deal to end hostilities between the two sides – former rebels and Sudan’s military – had been successful.

Media around the world reported that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir had freed Mr Ghandour, who had been detained at the airport in Khartoum, as a gesture of good will in advance of a planned international peace conference in Qatar.

Several members of the Sudanese government have attended talks with opposition groups in Qatar

Mr Ghandour said the conflict had already “exhausted itself” and said he would not hold talks with the military, who were preparing to take control of border areas.

Mr Ghandour was banned from leaving Sudan and held in military barracks until Saturday. His release was announced by Sudan’s foreign ministry hours after his arrival in Cairo.

His release followed what was deemed to be a successful round of peace talks between Sudan’s government and members of the now defunct National Congress Party in Doha in February.

The local Sudanese news website The SwearWord reported that members of the armed opposition had remained in Darfur province and were fighting against the army.

However, the prime minister accused the rebels of “provocations” and said he would be visiting the country next week to prove his government had control over Darfur.

“One of the main objectives of these negotiations is peace in Darfur,” he said.

Leave a Comment