Sudan's opposition parties walked out of parliament on Oct. 26 after President Omar Hassan al-Bashir's party (NCP) refused to back down over its plans to allow the intelligence service wide powers. The powerful security forces were blamed by opponents for mass torture and murder during the north-south civil war. Sudan acknowledges some abuses by security forces but says it investigates cases of torture and killings. A 2005 peace deal to end the north-south conflict included a new democratic constitution limiting the powers of the security service to gathering intelligence. NCP tabled a National Security Forces law in parliament which would allow the intelligence service to retain widespread powers of arrest and search. (Reuters)

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