Sudan vows to step up 'terrorist' hunt



Sudan is to intensify its search for three suspects wanted in connection with the attempted assassination of the Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, last year. If found on Sudanese territory, they will be arrested and extradited, Ali Osman Mohammed Taha, the country's Foreign Minister, said yesterday.

His assurances come in the wake of a UN Security Council resolution demanding that Sudan hand over three Egyptians suspected of trying to kill President Mubarak in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, last June.

Sudan's Islamic regime has for a long time been accused by the West, particularly the United States, of training and harbouring terrorists. Since the attack on President Mubarak, Sudan's relations with Egypt and Ethiopia have deteriorated dramatically.

"We are putting more effort into demonstrating our seriousness in conducting this search," the influential minister told the Independent yesterday. "We are taking some measures which will be made public in a day or two. What else can we do? We have been given an impossible mission".

The Khartoum government of Lieutenant-General Omar Hassan al-Bashir, which has consistently denied any involvement in the assassination attempt, has been given 60 days by the UN to hand over the three suspects. It admits that one of the three Egyptians named by Ethiopia did enter Sudan after the attack but insists that he did not stay.

"We believe the resolution has been based on unfounded presumptions," said Mr Taha. "We feel we have been unjustly treated on this issue. Sudan is an open country. We have never provided military training for any elements whether they are Egyptians or other nationalities."

Mr Taha said his government would shortly begin a campaign to explain its position. The UN resolution is being seen here as part of an international conspiracy to isolate Sudan and as a prelude to demands for trade sanctions by the US.

The Security Council resolution condemning Sudan was immediately followed by an announcement by the US that it was withdrawing all American personnel from its embassy in Khartoum. Some 30 embassy employees are due to leave the Sudanese capital by the end of this week though the US insists it is not breaking diplomatic relations. A US embassy spokesman yesterday dismissed as "totally coincidental" the fact that the announcement of thewithdrawal came at the same time as the resolution.

"We're suspending our presence out of concern for the safety of our personnel," said the diplomat. "There's been no one development which has prompted our decision. We've had a longstanding concern over Sudan harbouring terrorist groups. It's dangerous for us here and it will continue to be dangerous for as long as the Sudanese government fails to curb the activities of terrorist groups based here."

The US says the threats to its staff come from both Sudanese and "non- Sudanese elements", a catch-all phrase denoting Palestinian and other groups. The US, which has had Sudan on its list of state sponsors of terrorism since 1993, reports the existence in the country of up to 20 terrorist training camps. The camps are said to be moved frequently to outwit spy satellites.

"For some international powers - particularly for the US and Britain - the Islamic attitudes of Sudan pose a threat to their interests," said Mr Taha. "But our interpretation of Islam does not lead to confrontation with the West, it does not lead to violence or terrorism."

Mr Taha admitted that there are many Palestinian and other Arabs based in Sudan but denied they are engaged in military activities. They were leading "normal civilian lives".

The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
Life and Style

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister

Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Life and Style
The charity Sands reports that 11 babies are stillborn everyday in the UK
lifeEleven babies are stillborn every day in the UK, yet no one speaks about this silent tragedy
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)

Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
Northern soul mecca the Wigan Casino
fashionGone are the punks, casuals, new romantics, ravers, skaters, crusties. Now all kids look the same
Life and Style

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Year 5 Teacher

£80 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Year 5 Teacher KS2 teaching job...

Software Developer

£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Pensions Scheme After 6 Months: Clearwater People So...

Systems Analyst / Business Analyst - Central London

£35000 - £37000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Busines...

Senior Change Engineer (Network, Cisco, Juniper) £30k

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Senior Change ...

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Salisbury ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities

The city is home to one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, along with the world’s oldest mechanical clock
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album