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Sudan repudiates reports on occupying Libyan town

July 3, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) on Sunday denied a report carried by the UK-based Daily Telegraph newspaper claiming that it took control of a town in southern Libya.

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Northern military spokesman Al-Sawarmi Khaled Sa’ad (Reuters)

The newspaper quoting officials enforcing the United Nations mandated No Fly Zone (NFZ) over Libya as saying that Sudan’s occupation of the town of Kufra and nearby military base granted the Sudanese a key strategic foothold between the regime and the opposition Transitional National Council (TNC) which holds the eastern seaboard and a series of rebel enclaves in a bid to topple the 41-years rule of Muammar Gaddafi.

"Our surveillance shows that they are not moving oil, so its not about money in the short term," said one Western official.

But SAF spokesperson Colonel Al-Sawarmi Khaled Sa’ad said in a statement described the report as “untrue”.

“We have nothing to do with what is going on in Libya or elsewhere and we are committed in [our] security work to defending Sudan’s borders with neighbors,” he said.

Sudan has unofficially given its blessings to the TNC and president Omer Hassan al-Bashir has slammed Gaddafi in recent months and accused him of conspiring against his country in the past.

Last March Reuters quoted unidentified diplomats at the UN as saying that Khartoum has given NATO permission to use its airspace in enforcing the NFZ.

(ST)