Sudan Wants Israel Condemned at UN
October 25, 2012
Sudan is demanding that the United Nations Security Council condemn Israel for an alleged air strike on a weapons factory in Khartoum.
Israel’s government has so far declined to comment on the allegation. Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Israeli television: “There is nothing I can say about this subject.”
Explosions and a huge fire broke out at the Yarmouk ammunition and small arms factory early Wednesday, and Sudanese officials said two people were killed.
Sudan's UN Ambassador Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman told the Security Council that four Israeli aircraft entered Sudan’s airspace and carried out a strike on the factory.
He urged the council to condemn the incident, calling it a “blatant violation of the concept of peace and security." Sudan has also threatened to retaliate against Israel.
Reports say Israel believes Sudan is used as an arms-smuggling route, through which weapons are allegedly transported to Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip via Sudan’s northern neighbor Egypt.
In Khartoum on Wednesday, Information Minister Ahmed Belal Osman told reporters there was “evidence” suggesting an Israeli attack.
He gave no details about the evidence, but accused Israel of trying to hobble Sudan’s military capability.
"The main objective of the attack is to obstruct our military capability and paralyze our development in this industry and aims to weaken sovereignty and political decision making," Osman said.
He also warned of possible retaliation against Israel, saying: "We reserve the right to respond in the place and the time we chose."
In April 2011, Sudan held Israel responsible for an air strike near the city of Port Sudan.
Sudan also blamed Israel for a strike on a convoy in northeastern Sudan in 2009.
Israel declined comment on both of those attacks.
In 1998 the United States launched a missile strike on a pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum, saying it was manufacturing materials for chemical weapons and was partly owned by Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
Sudan denied the allegation, saying the Al-Shifa plant made only pharmaceuticals.
Sudan has been racked by several armed conflicts for many years. The government has been battling rebels in the western region of Darfur and in the south.
Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir has been indicted by the International Criminal Court on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
with reporting from Reuters, AP and AFP
Copyright (c) 2012. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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