A senior official in the Sudanese government was prevented at the last moment from boarding a flight from Khartoum to Saudi Arabia yesterday, the Sudan News Network has reported.
The Director of the Office of the President, Lt. General Taha Osman, was stopped after checking-in and being issued with a boarding pass. It is believed that he was accompanying a delegation of Saudi officials who were allowed to continue their flight.
No official reason has been given for the decision to stop Osman from travelling. However, sources told MEMO that Sudan is keen to maintain a neutral stance in the dispute between four Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia, and Qatar and the intelligence services had reviewed the travel plans in the light of the current diplomatic upheaval.
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Osman is not only Director of the Offices of the President, but also holds senior roles within the armed forces and the ruling National Congress Party.