Sudan’s minister of defense, Jamaleldin Omar, died of a heart attack on Wednesday in South Sudan’s capital Juba, where he was taking part in peace talks with rebel groups, the army said.
Omar was a member of the military council that took over after toppling veteran ruler Omar Al-Bashir last year until a power sharing deal between civilians and the military to run the country for three years.
He took a leading role in peace talks that started in October to try to end a series of conflicts in Darfur, southern borderlands and other remote regions.
The talks will now be postponed and Omar’s body was brought back to the Sudanese capital Khartoum Wednesday, Sudan News Agency (SUNA) reported.
Thousands of people have been killed in Sudan’s civil wars, including the conflict in the western Darfur region, where rebels have been fighting the government since 2003.
In January, one faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North active in the border regions of Blue Nile and South Kordofan signed a preliminary deal with the government on political and security arrangements, paving the way for a broader deal.
But a rival group has not joined the deal, and talks have continued since then.
In another development, Sudan’s Security and Defense Council, represented in the higher health and security emergency committee, issued a statement Monday in which it declared curfew from 08:00 pm until 06:00 am as of Tuesday, March 24.
The council also decided ban of travel buses to and from the states as of 06:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 26.
The statement read over by the Transitional Sovereign Council’s member, Prof. Siddiq Tawer, called on the citizens to bide by the health instructions issued by the higher health and security emergency committee successively.
The committee has referred in its statement to the outbreak of the new (Corona 19) virus, the levels of dealing with the spread of the disease, the efforts of the Ministry of Health in monitoring cases of infection with the virus in Sudan, the death of a Sudanese victim, the infection of a foreigner with the virus and absence of a cure and vaccines for coronavirus.