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Sudan opposition party leader denied entry to Egypt

Sadiq al-Mahdi was stopped at Cairo Airport after attending a Sudanese opposition meeting. [Getty]

Date of publication: 2 July, 2018

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The National Ummah Party says that leader Sadiq al-Mahdi was stopped on Saturday at Cairo Airport, on his way back from attending a Sudanese opposition meeting in Berlin.

A Sudanese opposition party says its leader has been denied entry to Egypt upon his arrival from Germany.

Sunday's statement by the National Ummah Party says that Sadiq al-Mahdi was stopped on Saturday at Cairo Airport, on his way back from attending a Sudanese opposition meeting in Berlin.

It also said Egyptian authorities had asked al-Mahdi, who resides in Egypt, not to attend the conference.

Egypt airport officials said in a statement Sunday that processing procedures had simply taken a long time and that al-Mahdi later headed to London.

They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.

Egypt's Foreign Ministry couldn't be immediately reached for comment.

A fixture of Sudanese politics since the 1960s, Mahdi was prime minister from 1966 to 1967 and again from 1986 to 1989.

His government was the last one to be democratically elected in Sudan, before it was toppled by a 1989 coup launched by current President Omar al-Bashir.

He briefly returned to Khartoum in January 2017 after more than two years of exile in Cairo, but had since returned to the Egyptian capital. 

In April, Sudanese media reported that the state security prosecutor had charged Mahdi with collaborating to overthrow Bashir after a meeting with rebel leaders in Paris.

Since the coup that ousted Mahdi's civilian government, the ex-premier's Umma Party has acted as Sudan's main opposition group and has regularly campaigned against the policies of Bashir's government.

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