Sanctions hang over Sudan for export of terror
Wednesday 20 March 1996
It now seems inevitable Sudan will be confirmed as one of the world's pariah states. The Khartoum government is accused of harbouring internationally wanted terrorists and of having abetted an attempt on the life of the Egyptian head of state.
A UN Security Council resolution, calling on Sudan to surrender three terrorist suspects and desist from terrorist activities, expires at the end of the month. If Khartoum fails to comply, Western diplomats say, it will face another resolution, this time imposing sanctions.
Khartoum denies harbouring three Egyptians wanted in connection with the attempted assassination last year of the Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak. This week Lieutenant General Omar al-Bashir, Sudan's military leader, told Salim Ahmed Salim, the visiting Organization of African Unity secretary-general, that the three men were not in Sudan.
But there is damning evidence that the ruling National Islamic Front (NIF) and the state security service were involved in the attack in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, last June.
"Though the Sudanese probably didn't order the attack, we have no doubt that they facilitated travel documents for the terrorists, provided them with cover in Khartoum and transported their weapons", says an Ethiopian official who participated in drafting his government's submission to the Security Council. "The terrorists received the blessing, active support and encouragement of the NIF".
Eleven Egyptians were deployed to carry out the attack by the extremist group, Jamaat Islami, which seeks to overthrow President Mubarak and install a strict Islamic regime in Egypt.
Five were killed at the time of, or shortly after, the assassination attempt. Three were arrested in Ethiopia and are now in custody. Three escaped.
Ethiopia, Egypt and the United States, which has placed Sudan on a shortlist of states sponsoring terrorism, believe the three escapees are in Sudan. They have been named as Mustafa Hamza, Izat Yassin and Husayn Ahmed Shahit Ali, also known as Siraj Mohamed Hussein.
Sudan admits Siraj flew to Khartoum on a Sudan Airways flight after the attack but insists he is no longer in the country. Knowledge of the other two suspects is denied, as is involvement in the preparation of the attack.
Khartoum has issued arrest warrants for the three and has sent envoys on an global round of damage limitation. But the international community is not convinced. Diplomats interviewed by the Independent in Sudan and in neighbouring countries say that the evidence against Khartoum is incontrovertible.
The three Egyptians in custody confirm that they were harboured by Sudan after their arrival from Pakistan, where they had been based as mujahedin - fighters in the Islamic cause. They have given precise details of where they were housed in Khartoum while they planned the attack. The group carried Sudanese or Yemeni passports, which were prepared for them in the Sudanese capital.
The weapons used in the ambush near Addis Ababa airport were flown to the capital of Ethiopia from Khartoum by Sudan Airways. After the attack, a box dispatched by Sudan's General Security Bureau was found in a "safe house" used by the terrorists.
"The Sudanese government might not have been involved in planning the attack but we're sure that it gave Jamaat the facilities it needed", an Egyptian diplomat said. "There are also strong indications their security services were involved".
Diplomats believe President Bashirto had no advance knowledge of the attack and say he was angered when he heard of it. His dismissal of Dr Nafie Ali Nafie, head of the Sudanese External Security Service, is seen as confirmation the organisation was involved in the plot.
It is not thought possible that the terrorists could have prepared their mission without the assistance of the NIF which, under the leadership of Dr Hassan al-Turabi, exists alongside the country's formal system of government. The NIF is committed to the export of Islamic fundamentalism to neighbouring countries.
"People of a variety of nationalities are being trained in terrorist activities in Sudan", a Western diplomat says. "The government and the NIF are perfectly capable of acting against any of these terrorist entities should they wish".
The US, which last month withdrew its embassy staff from Khartoum because of "security risks" and in protest against Sudan's alleged links with terrorism, says there are up to 20 training camps for Muslim militants inside Sudan.
Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again
...and it wasn't caused by an asteroid crash, as first thought
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
- 3 35,000 walrus gather on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
- 4 Brad Pitt, on the moment he completely lost his temper with Clint Eastwood's son
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Stella McCartney apologises over controversial 'very ill' model picture on Instagram
Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
Brad Pitt, on the moment he completely lost his temper with Clint Eastwood's son
Cheryl Cole named 'the most dangerous celebrity' on the internet
Former Tory donor Arron Banks ups his Ukip donation to £1million following William Hague 'nobody' comment
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
- < Previous
- Next >
£25000 - £30000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£26000 - £28000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...
£55000 - £60000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client, a prog...