Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sudan News Bulletin: US Jets 'Bombed Convoy in Sudan'; President Visits Libya; MSF Says No Genocide in Darfur Region

Thursday, March 26, 2009
17:11 Mecca time, 14:11 GMT

US jets 'bombed convoy in Sudan'

Salim said the air raids were launched from the
US fleet in the Red Sea

A Sudanese minister has told Al Jazeera that the US launched two air raids in the country earlier this year.

Mabrouk Mubarak Salim, the state minister for highways, said on Thursday that Sudanese, Somalis, Ethiopians, and Eritreans were killed in the attacks in January and February.

The attacks targeted a number of cars in the desert near the eastern city of Port Sudan, Salim said.

More than 50 people received treatment at a hospital in the town of Kassala after the raids, which were launched from the US fleet in the Red Sea, he said.

However, Deng Alor, the Sudanese foreign minister, said in Egypt on Wednesday that he had no knowledge of any such air raid.

"We have no information about such an attack," he said.

'Israel involved'

The US-based CBS network reported similar attacks on Wednesday, but said its sources had told David Martin, its Pentagon reporter, that Israeli aircraft were involved.

CBS said that the jets were targeting weapons convoys heading through Sudan on their way to Egypt, where they would have been taken across the Sinai into the Gaza Strip.

"Sudan used to provide Hamas with weapons but that is not the case any more," Alor said.

Salim said that the air raids hit human-traffickers travelling through the desert area and the only weapons in the convoys were small arms being carried by guards.

Ronen Bergman, an investigative journalist, told Al Jazeera that his Israeli and US sources backed up the CBS take on events.

Bergman said that weapons are smuggled to Gaza either from Syria though the Sinai peninsula or from Iran via Sudan.

"The last operation executed by the Israeli military forces in the Gaza Strip, has caused Hamas to lose quite a lot of its arsenal and therefore to request for more and more supplies from Iran," Bergman said.

"Some of those supplies were intercepted in that alleged raid by the Israeli air force."

Neither the US, which has troops based in the African state of Djibouti, nor Israel has commented on the alleged incident.

Israel fought a 22-day war in Gaza which ended when it declared a unilateral halt to military operations on January 18.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies

Sudan's Bashir goes to Libya, defying ICC

TRIPOLI (smc) Agencies

Sudan President Omar Hassan al-Bashir defied an international arrest warrant by travelling to Libya on Thursday to hold talks with leader Muammar Gaddafi, a Libyan official said.Bashir arrived in the Libyan city of Sirte to have lunch with Gaddafi, who is also the current president of the African Union, the official said on condition of anonymity.

Gaddafi said last month that "foreign forces" including Israel were stoking the Darfur conflict and urged the International Criminal Court to stop proceedings against Bashir.

The veteran Libyan leader says Africa can solve its own problems without outside meddling and has made a number of attempts to broker peace between Darfur rebels and the Khartoum government.

A Sudanese presidential palace source and a foreign ministry official had earlier said Bashir, who risks arrest any time he travels abroad, was on his way to the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

The trip is Bashir''s third abroad since the ICC issued the arrest warrant on March 4. He also visited neighbours Egypt and Eritrea this week following invitations from those countries for talks on the ICC move.

Medicine sans Frontier Accuses Ocampo of Presenting False Information on Darfur

Khartoum (smc)

Manager of humanitarian operations of Netherlands medicine sans frontier Tim Doran whose organization expelled recently from Darfur accuses International Criminal Court ICC prosecutor general Luis Ocampo of presenting false information on situation in Darfur.

Doran in an interview with Al-Jazeera channel yesterday said Ocampo''s allegations of genocide in Darfur were wrong. He said what we have seen in Rwanda is not existing in Darfur.

Doran stresses that Ocampo''s report stated 5000 persons dying every day in Darfur camps also not true. He said if that was what had happened in Darfur we would have exit the area and complained the case.

However he denies government accusation that his organization is cooperating with ICC.

African delegation Presided by South Africa arrives to Khartoum next month to review the issue of Darfur

Khartoum (smc) SUNA

The ambassador of South Africa to the Sudan has said his country would head a high level delegation from the African Union to visit the Sudan next month to review the question of Darfur.

The ambassador has pointed out in a lecture he delivered at the International Peoples'' Friendship Council on Wednesday under the slogan of _South Africa Today- that his country backs all initiatives aimed at achieving peace in the Sudan.

He pointed out that Sudan has provided assistance to his country during time the apartheid era which was a system brought to serve the Africana''s and the whites in general.

The ambassador detailed the developments in his country in the various domains and how the black south Africans were living in abject poverty as a result of the apartheid regime.

He said new south African government worked to bring down the apartheid system and the apartheid based economic system and how the country could be brought back to the international arena.

He stressed that his country vision of Africa was that the continent should become secure stable and unified and enjoy democracy.

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