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Sudan intelligence request to disband Umma party declined

Sudan's Political Parties Affairs Council on Sunday rejected a complaint filed by the National Intelligence and Security Service urging the dissolution of the Umma National Party, the country's largest opposition party.

"Council members, headed by Chairman Osman Mohamed Moussa, have decided to reject a complaint filed by the National Intelligence and Security Service against the Umma National Party," said a statement by the council, which is the panel responsible for regulating political parties.

The council did not reveal further information on the reason for the decision.

According to party officials, the complaint was filed after the party signed on to the so-called Paris Declaration, an agreement with armed groups operating in Sudan.

The party said that the security agency had asked the panel to freeze the party's activities or file a lawsuit with the Supreme Constitutional Court requesting its dissolution.

The Sudanese government has yet to comment on the latest developments.

The Paris Declaration was signed last August by Umma Party leader Sadiq Al-Mahdi and four Sudanese militant groups that are fighting the government in eight of the country's 18 states.

The intelligence service had said earlier that Al-Mahdi's decision to sign the declaration would make him subject to questioning.

The Umma Party has pulled out of a national dialogue initiative launched by President Omar Al-Bashir to protest Al-Mahdi's arrest last May.

The opposition leader was, however, released one month later.

Sudan remains plagued by conflict between the army and various rebel movements – especially in the country's restive southern and western regions – along with a deteriorating economy.

In 2013, what had initially appeared to be a popular uprising against the long-serving Al-Bashir quashed by security forces.

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