At­tempt to solve Su­danese stand­off

Taranaki Daily News - - World -

Khar­toum – Su­danese au­thor­i­ties and United States of­fi­cials in Khar­toum are ne­go­ti­at­ing to al­low a Su­danese woman, who mar­ried an Amer­i­can and was re­cently spared the death penalty for con­vert­ing to Chris­tian­ity, to leave Sudan, sources close to the case said.

Mariam Yahya Ibrahim, 27, was de­tained at Khar­toum air­port on Wed­nes­day, a day af­ter an ap­peals court over­turned a death sen­tence im­posed on her for hav­ing con­verted from Is­lam to Chris­tian­ity in or­der to marry her Chris­tian Amer­i­can hus­band.

Her lawyer, Mo­haned Mostafa, said Ibrahim, her hus­band and two chil­dren had been stay­ing at the US em­bassy in Khar­toum since her re­lease, which was granted on the con­di­tion that Ibrahim re­mains in Sudan.

‘‘There are talks go­ing on cur­rently be­tween Su­danese and Amer­i­can of­fi­cials to try to find a way for Mariam and her fam­ily to leave the coun­try,’’ a source said.

Ibrahim was de­tained on Wed­nes­day for try­ing to use documents is­sued by the em­bassy of South Sudan to fly out of Khar­toum with her Amer­i­canSouth Su­danese hus­band and their two chil­dren.

De­spite lift­ing her death sen­tence af­ter huge in­ter­na­tional pres­sure, Sudan still does not ac­knowl­edge Ibrahim’s new iden­tity as a Chris­tian South Su­danese be­cause it does not recog­nise her mar­riage. Mus­lim women are not per­mit­ted to marry Chris­tian men un­der the Is­lamic laws. ‘‘The talks now are aim­ing to get her out of Sudan on a Su­danese pass­port,’’ the source said.

Ibrahim’s hus­band, Daniel Wani, said that it was a ‘‘mis­un­der­stand­ing’’ and er­ror when Su­danese au­thor­i­ties said her travel documents were in­valid, adding that his wife should have the right to adopt his South Su­danese na­tion­al­ity.

‘‘There is diplo­matic work go­ing on and the Su­danese Govern­ment of­fers help and co-op­er­ates in this mat­ter,’’ Wani said. ‘‘We will leave this time in a smooth man­ner and with travel documents that the Su­danese au­thor­i­ties ac­cept.’’

South Sudan, which has a ma­jor­ity Chris­tian pop­u­la­tion, be­came in­de­pen­dent from the mostly Mus­lim north af­ter a ref­er­en­dum in 2011 that ended years of civil war.

Pho­tos: REUTERS

Ter­ri­ble im­pact: Ac­tors dressed as Arch­duke Franz Fer­di­nand and Count­ess Sophie Chotek take part in a per­for­mance in the town of Viseg­radas in Bos­nia and Herze­gov­ina, as Serbs marked 100 years since the arch­duke’s mur­der lit the fuse for World War I.

Key player: An ac­tor dressed as as­sas­sin Gavrilo Prin­cip car­ries a burn­ing cross on his back dur­ing a per­for­mance in Viseg­rad.

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