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Sudan accuses CIA of smuggling weapons into Darfur

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July 27, 2007 (KHARTOUM) — Sudan’s interior minister accused Central Intelligence Agency of smuggling weapons into the troubled region of Darfur.

Interior Minister Zubair Bashir Taha addressing a crowd consisting of youth organizations said that the CIA is seeking to “disrupt the demographics of Darfur”.

The US special envoy to Darfur Andrew Natsios told reporters in Khartoum last week that Arab groups from neighboring countries were resettling in West Darfur and other lands traditionally belonging to local African tribes.

Taha accused the US of being responsible for “prolonging the war in Darfur and the death of thousands of people after the Abuja peace agreement just like they did in Iraq”.

The Los Angeles Times revealed last month that Sudan has secretly worked with the CIA to spy on the insurgency in Iraq, an example of how the U.S. has continued to cooperate with the Sudanese regime even while condemning its suspected role in the killing of tens of thousands of civilians in Darfur.

The U.S.-Sudan relationship goes beyond Iraq. Sudan has helped the United States track the turmoil in Somalia. Sudanese intelligence service has helped the US to attack the Islamic Courts positions in Somalia and to locate Al Qaeda suspects hiding there.

The Darfur conflict began in 2003 when an ethnic minority rose up against the Arab-dominated government in Khartoum, which then enlisted the Janjaweed militia group to help crush the rebellion.

According to UN estimates, at least 200,000 people have died from the combined effect of war and famine since the conflict started in February 2003. But Khartoum disputes the figures.

(ST)

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