Expulsion is 'lesson' to UK

CAIRO (Reuter) - President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan said yesterday the aim of expelling the British ambassador, Peter Streams, was to show that Sudan was no longer part of the 'British empire'.

'You have heard through the media that we have asked Britain, the colonial state, to recall its ambassador in Khartoum because he interfered in and encroached on what did not concern him,' the President said in a speech to mark the 38th anniversary of Sudan's independence.

'We wanted it as a lesson for them . . . that we are independent and will not permit anyone to harm our independence.'

The row began when the Archbishop of Canterbury cancelled a trip to the government- controlled north of Sudan and decided to visit only the rebel- controlled south. Sudan said it was giving Mr Streams two weeks to leave the country. Britain has given Sudan until Tuesday to reverse the decision.

Mr Bashir said Mr Streams had forgotten that Sudan was celebrating the 38th anniversary of 'the departure of his people, who were expelled and alienated, never to return'. Sudan was ruled as an Anglo- Egyptian condominium from 1899 until independence on 1 January, 1956.