March 10, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese government launched a fierce attack on the Food and Agricultural organization of the United Nations (FAO) accusing it of conspiring against the country.
- A man holds locusts as a Swarm of locusts arrives in Israel near the Egyptian border on March 6, 2013 in Kmehin, Israel (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)
The Secretary General of the General Administration for Protection of Plantation Khidir Gibreel said at a meeting in Sudan’s North State that FAO is plagued with politics.
He singled out FAO’s Executive Secretary of the Commission for Controlling the Desert Locust in the Central Region Mamoon Alalawi whom he said is leading the conspiracy.
Gibreel said that Sudan will seek to have Alalawi removed from his post over his hostile stance against Sudan. He said that his position is backed by the federal agricultural minister and the president.
He claimed that Alalawi blocked a $25 million grant from Saudi Arabia in the form of vehicles and other equipments. Furthermore, the FAO official sent a spying device to Sudan that is disguised as one used for locust control.
Last February the Sudanese government wrote to FAO asking it for help to stop locusts invasion but the UN body offered a mere $25,000 in assistance which Gibreel described as an insult.
Locusts swarmed across Sudan from the East and moved into Egypt and Israel since last month prompting emergency measures from farmers and governments alike.
The head of the pro-government Sudanese Journalists Union Moyideen Titawi suggested in an op-ed last month that Israel is behind the locusts which attacked the country.
"I don’t rule out much that the first and last enemy of our country and our people and our products Israel and its agents [ a hand] in the launch of this scourge on our country in order to impoverish us and strike our production of food, especially wheat, beans, pulses and dates" Titawi wrote in the right-wing al-Intibaha newspaper.