By: Wasil Ali
July 29, 2007 (KHARTOUM) — The Sudanese government decided to lift restrictions on Al-Qaeda members in the country in return for their help in fighting peacekeepers in Darfur.
- Osama bin Laden
The classified document sent to Sudan Tribune by a group named Kosh Liberation Movement (KLM) was dated April 27, 2004 and signed by senior members of Sudan’s presidency, ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and the army.
One of the signatories was Sudan’s presidential adviser Majzoub al-Khalifa who was killed in a car accident last month signing on behalf of the NCP.
The authenticity of the document could not be independently verified.
Osama bin Laden lived in Sudan for several years in the early 1990s.
The document requests all government agencies to allow “foreign Jihadis who came to Sudan with Osama Bin Laden in 1994 to resume their political activities in Sudan given the circumstances surrounding foreign intervention in Darfur to support armed forces and the people of Sudan to fight Zionist enemies”.
The decision outlines certain steps to be taken to allow Al-Qaeda to operate in Sudan such as unfreezing their bank accounts and returning all properties confiscated in 1996.
A copy of the order was sent to President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir, Head of Security Services and a representative of Al-Qaeda in Sudan.
Last year Al-Qaeda’s second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahri called on Muslims in a video released on Friday to launch a holy war against proposed U.N. peacekeepers in Sudan’s Darfur region.
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