Home | News    Saturday 8 January 2005

Israeli nationals accused of arming Sudan’s Darfur rebels

KHARTOUM, Sudan, Jan 8, 2005 (PANA) — Three Israeli nationals have
reportedly confessed to supplying weapons to two rebel
groups in Sudan’s western region of Darfur, fighting the
Khartoum government, the Sudanese press reported
Saturday.

The reports quoting Jordanian sources said three Israeli
nationals detained and interrogated by Jordanian authorities
had confessed to supplying weapons to the Sudan Liberation
Movement (SLM) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM),
which launched an insurrection in February 2003 to back their
demand for greater autonomy for the region.

According to the reports, a suspected leader of the purported
Israeli arms smuggling ring was said to be operating a defence
firm in the Tel Aviv area providing training for unnamed
military forces in Africa.

But an official of the Israeli Foreign Ministry was quoted
as describing the report as "strange."

The Khartoum government has repeatedly accused Israel and
Germany of supporting the rebels in Darfur.

"The information about the involvement of Israel on supplying
the Darfur rebels with weapons is correct," Sudan’s State Interior
Minister Mohammed Haroun, was quoted as saying. "Those who have
been involved in the conspiracy were seized by a friendly country’s
intelligence agency and investigations on the issue are still
going on."

Meanwhile, Israel, which has no diplomatic ties with Sudan
is said to be collaborating with Jewish groups in the US to
send humanitarian aid to Darfur, where close to two million
people have been displaced and thousands killed by the
fighting.