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Sudan to coordinate with UAE to contain Libya situation: Bashir

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February 22, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir disclosed that his country is coordinating with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to contain the explosive situation in Libya and ensure that the conflict does not expand.

Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir (L) shakes hands with UAE vice-president and prime minister Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum in Abu Dhabi on 22 February 2015 (WAM)

Bashir, who began a visit to the UAE on Saturday, warned of the seriousness of the Libya fighting on the region and its effects on security and stability. He offered no details on the nature of cooperation with Abu Dhabi on this issue.

In an interview with the Abu-Dhabi based al-Etihad newspaper, Bashir said that his government worked with all parties to contain the crisis in Libya and noted that a joint Sudanese-Libyan border force was established.

He added that Sudan underscored to the Libyans on the need to address the situation through the formation of a national army and police and accommodating rebels into these institutions noting that Sudan offered training opportunities to Libyans to form the basis of army and police.

Bashir said that the change in Libya occurred through fighting in a manner different from Egypt and Tunisia which saw rebel groups fighting each other as a result of the proliferation of arms.

On the situation in Iraq and Syria, Bashir warned that Iraq is on its way to become three countries, while the situation in Syria continues to deteriorate because all parties are determined to achieve a military solution.

Sudan has been accused of supporting Libya’s Islamist militias that are currently in control of Tripoli.

Last September, Libya’s internationally recognized Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni said Sudan had attempted to airlift weapons and ammunition to the new rulers in Tripoli.

Khartoum denied this, saying the weapons were meant for the joint border force.

Thinni’s main military partner, former army general Khalifa Heftar, has also accused Sudanese of having joined Ansar al-Shar’ia and other Islamist groups which are battling pro-government forces in the eastern city of Benghazi.

On the other hand the Tripoli government has accused Egypt and UAE of helping Heftar militarily. The US said last year that the two countries carried out air strikes on armed Islamist factions in Tripoli.

(ST)

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