TITLE=U-S / SUDAN (L-ONLY)
INTRO: A war of words is heating up between Sudan and
the United States following passage of a U-S law that
would allow direct shipments of food aid to Sudanese
rebels. From the State Department, VOA's Kyle King
TEXT: The first rhetorical blast came from the
Islamic government in Khartoum. Officials there
accuse the United States of trying to prolong Sudan's
16-year old civil war.
The criticism follows (Monday's) passage of a U-S law
that gives the President authority to send food aid
directly to Southern Sudanese rebels.
White House officials say the President did not ask
for the authority and no decision has been made to
begin such aid deliveries.
State Department spokesman James Rubin rejected
Sudan's criticism, and blamed the government in
Khartoum for prolonging the war.
/// RUBIN ACT ///
Let me say the Sudanese government has been
engaged in a war against its own people. And
the idea that they would criticize anyone else
for trying to help deal with the mass starvation
and deprived conditions of the people of Sudan
is ridiculous in the extreme.
/// END ACT ///
The Clinton administration has repeatedly blamed the
suffering in Sudan on the government's attempt to
impose Islamic law in the mostly Christian and animist
South of the country.
Supporters of direct U-S food aid to the rebels say it
would help them maintain their positions in the oil
rich South of the country.
Some Sudanese officials say the aid shipments could be
used to bring weapons to the rebels. International
aid organizations say they fear direct U-S food
deliveries to the rebels would endanger humanitarian
Fighting and starvation blamed on the war in Sudan
have killed nearly two million people over the past 16
years. The United States and international aid
agencies have provided hundreds of millions of dollars
in humanitarian assistance. (Signed)
01-Dec-1999 16:03 PM EDT (01-Dec-1999 2103 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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