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Sudan rushes to prevent Tunisia-like crisis

world Updated: Jan 19, 2011 00:17 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Hindustan Times
Hassan al-Turabi

Sudanese security officers arrested Islamist opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi early on Tuesday just hours after he warned of a Tunisia-style uprising, his son said.

Turabi’s arrest from his home was part of a wave of arrests against members of his Popular Congress Party, Siddig al-Turabi said, as Sudan stands at a crossroads following a landmark southern independence vote expected to lead to the partition of Africa’s largest nation.

The Sudan Media Centre, a news agency close to the Khartoum security services, said that Turabi’s latest arrest followed the “confessions” of senior leaders of the rebel Justice and Equality Movement rounded up in the western region of Darfur that he “guided and financed” them.

Khartoum authorities have long accused Turabi of having links with the Islamist JEM, fighting government troops in Darfur for the past eight years.

In the interview just hours before his arrest, Turabi said a Tunisia-style revolt was likely in the north as the country’s faces the prospect of partition. “What happened in Tunisia is a reminder. This is likely to happen in Sudan,” Turabi had said, referring to the deadly protests that prompted President Ben Ali to flee Tunisia after 23 years of iron-fisted rule.

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A man set himself ablaze in Alexandria on Tuesday, a security official said, bringing to three the number of such suicide attempts in Egypt in the past two days, apparently influenced by a similar action in Tunisia that helped trigger the popular uprising. The man suffered third degree burns

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