Weapons being used by rebels in Darfur are being indirectly supplied by Egypt as a result of Cairo’s policy of supplying arms to Libya and South Sudan, a Sudanese peace envoy claimed yesterday.
Speaking at a press conference in Khartoum, Sudan’s Envoy for Diplomatic Contact and Negotiation in Darfur, Amin Hassan Omer, said the fierce clashes that erupted between Sudan’s Armed Forces (SAF) and the rebel Sudan’s Liberation Movement (SLM-MM/AW) splinter groups in North and East Darfu, over the weekend were fought with Egyptian weapons passed to the rebels from Libya and South Sudan.
Omer said that factions of the SLM rebel fighters entered the western Darfur area from the bordering countries that are “well known” to be supplied with arms by Egypt.
When accused of supporting [Sudan’s] armed opposition, Egypt says it cannot be held responsible for the weapons that are passed over to a third party from Libya and South Sudan but whilst that sounds reasonable, other intelligent observers are entitled to reach a different conclusion.
The peace envoy said that the government’s top priority was to end the war through negotiations but described the renewed attacks as a “tactic” to delay the permanent lifting of US economic sanctions imposed on Sudan.
Last January, former US President Barack Obama eased the 19-year economic and trade sanctions on Sudan. Next July, several US administration agencies, including Congress, will decide whether or not to permanently lift the embargo on Sudan.