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Egypt Denies Accusations of Arming Darfur Rebels - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Khartoum- Egypt on Tuesday snubbed accusations on interfering in Sudanese internal affairs and backing rebels in Darfur, reiterating its respect and recognition of Sudan’s sovereignty.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry denied supporting the rebels.

“Egypt respects the sovereignty of Sudan over its territory and has not and will not interfere for a single day to destabilize Sudan or harm its people,” it said in a statement.

In a speech to Sudanese armed forces, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir said Sudan’s military had seized Egyptian armored vehicles from rebels in the country’s war-torn southern Darfur region.

Bashir said that seven Egyptian armored vehicles, in addition to 180 armed vehicles were seized last Sunday in battles taking place East and North of Darfur.

Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour is expected to travel to Cairo on May 31 to discuss, among other issues, a simmering trade dispute that has blocked Egyptian agricultural imports.

“Two days ago, your sons in the armed forces defeated a very large conspiracy, which came from two axes,” Bashir cited valiant efforts put in by army troops.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman expressed deep regret that such accusations were being made at a time that Egypt had invested its diplomatic weight for nearly 15 years defending Sudan against foreign interference.

The spokesman said that Egypt participated in all peace negotiations between the Sudanese government and the Darfur rebel movements, and has deployed ground troops along with the United Nations peacekeeping mission to support stability and peace in Darfur.

Fighting has continued in Darfur since 2003 until the Sudanese government recently declared Darfur free of rebels.

Most of Sudan’s dislodged rebels fled to Libya and southern Sudan, and are fighting alongside the forces of Libyan General Khalifa Hafter as “mercenaries”.

Renewed fighting in Darfur is widely feared to affect the overall lifting of US sanctions on Sudan.

Ahmed Younis

Ahmed Younis

Ahmed Younis is a senior consultant with Gallup and a senior analyst at the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies and the Muslim-West Facts Initiative. He is the author of American Muslims: Voir Dire [Speak the Truth], a post-September 11 look at the reality of debate surrounding American Muslims and their country.

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