Sudanese security forces arrested leading anti-coup figures on Thursday after they returned from a visit to Juba, South Sudan, where they met with a leading Sudanese rebel leader.
Security forces raided the house of the secretary-general of the opposition Sudanese Communist Party Mohammed Mokhtar al-Khatib, the party said in a statement.
Another leading party member, Saleh Mahmoud, was also arrested at Khartoum airport, and the two men were taken to an “unknown location,” the party added.
On Wednesday, the party said the men were detained in Juba after meeting Sudanese rebel leaders.
The leaders were on a trip to Juba where they met with Abdel Wahid Nour, who has refused to sign a landmark 2020 peace deal with the Sudanese government, according to the party statement.
They also visited rebel-held areas in South Kordofan controlled by Abdelaziz al-Hilu, who also abstained from the 2020 deal, it said.
The party, which has been the most hardline against the coup and any future deal, was pursuing a unified front against the coup, it said.
It strongly condemned the illegal arrests and urged the international community and human rights organizations to press the ruling military council for the immediate and unconditional release of all political detainees.
A few hours before his arrest, Khatib told a news conference in Khartoum that his party agreed with Nour and Hilu that comprehensive peace can only be attained through democratic transition and the separation of religion from the state.
Party spokeswoman Amal al-Zein said that the security forces detained the party’s delegation directly after landing in Juba, coming from Kauda town.
The intelligence services conducted lengthy investigations with the delegation on how its members entered South Sudan, their meeting with Nour, and their trip to Kauda, Zein explained.
She affirmed that the delegation members officially entered the state of Sudan by receiving a visa from South Sudan’s consulate in Khartoum.