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Sudan: Al-Mahdi Returns to the Country From Self-imposed Exile | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Former Sudanese Prime Minister and head of the opposition Umma Party Sadeq al-Mahdi addresses residents displaced by the Merowe dam as they stage a sit-down protest against what they describe as injustice and oppression, inside the Umma Party Headquarters in Omdurman December 24, 2011. The Merowe dam project, which was completed in 2009, displaced tens of thousands of people and has long been a source of controversy. REUTERS/ Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah (SUDAN – Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST)

Sadiq Al-Mahdi, the former Prime Minister of Sudan who is also the head of the National Umma Party and the religious movement the Ansar, will return to Sudan after spending more than two years in self-imposed exile in Egypt. His party and supporters announced that they are organising a large celebration to receive him. The Sudanese government and political forces welcomed the return of the religious and political leader to the country to play a role in the political process that is currently taking place in the country.

The deputy chairman of the party Mariam Sadiq Al-Mahdi told Asharq Al-Awsat that the arrangements for the celebrations had been completed, that crowds of Al-Mahdi’s supporters have flocked to Khartoum from different states of the country and that the celebrations will be an unprecedented political demonstration.

She also said that the authorities will only allow 25 people to receive him at the airport and that the arrangements will include a procession of cars from Khartoum airport to the city of Omdurman which will be followed by a procession of people walking to Al-Hijrah Square near the Abdurahman Mosque in Omdurman where speeches will be given. The supreme receiving committee and the party will make speeches and a final speech will be given by the leader of the party and the head of the Ansar movement.

Al-Mahdi requested the government not to prevent participants in the reception or the arrival of supporters from outside of Khartoum from entering and participating in the reception.