April 8, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The head of the Sudanese parliament, Ahmad Ibrahim al-Tahir, accused the United States (US) on Sunday of engaging in a “stealth war” against his country.
Al-Tahir, who was speaking in a press conference at the parliament headquarters in the capital Khartoum, cited the postponement last week of the inauguration of a $1 billion sugar plant in the country’s White Nile State, saying it was caused by US economic sanctions.
Sudan has been under comprehensive economic US sanctions since 1997, and remains on the US list of state sponsors of terror. At the time, the country provided safe haven to Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and other figures designated by Washington as terrorists.
Al-Tahir said that the US is walling Sudan off from progress, and accused Washington of being engaged in a multi-front war against his country.
“America is waging a stealth war against us, not only in Blue Nile and South Kordofan but even on individual level it is being touch on us” he complained.
The two areas are the scene of fighting between government forces and African indigenous rebels who fought alongside South Sudan before it won independence from Sudan in July last year.
Washington is spearheading a campaign to force Khartoum to allow international aid groups to access the country’s border regions of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, which are the scene of fighting between government forces and indigenous African rebels who fought alongside neighbouring South Sudan before it won independence from Sudan.
But Khartoum is highly skeptical of US motives and accuses Washington of wanting to support the rebels.
Sudan’s top MP pointed out that his country’s issue with the US remains “political” and vowed that Washington will not break the will of his country.
He added that Sudanese people could live without food or drink if it as a choice between that an loosing their dignity.
“We are weathering the harm that was inflicted on us due to the postponement of the inauguration of the White Nile sugar plant but we will solve the problem via another technology,” he concluded.
“HUNGER STALKS THE LAND”
In October 2011 Sudan’s Foreign Ministry summoned the British Ambassador to Khartoum over comments made on his blog regarding the prevalence of hunger in the country, lack of progress on the disputed region of Abyei and other issues.
Sudan’s official news agency (SUNA) said that Nicholas Kay had apologised to the foreign ministry for his article in which he asked: “How do you celebrate World Food Day in a country where hunger stalks the land?”
Kay observed on his blog that “the past month has seen a further half a million people fall into food insecurity,” due to “both natural forces – poor rains– and man-made causes, such as conflict,” in Sudan’s regions that border newly independent South Sudan.
The British diplomat regretted that civilians continue to suffer from the armed conflict in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan as result of government’s refusal to allow aid groups to reach the affected populations there.