Sudan: IRIN News Briefs, 5/12/99

Sudan: IRIN News Briefs, 5/12/99

Date: Wed, 12 May 1999 18:24:55 +0300 (EAT) From: IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <> To: MIME-Version: 1.0 Prev-Sender: Precedence: bulk Subject: SUDAN: IRIN News Briefs [19990512] X-Keyword: "IRIN" for X-Filter: mailagent [version 3.0 PL65] for Sender:

SUDAN: IRIN News Briefs, 12 May

Ugandan army "poised for assault"

Defence Minister General Abdel Khetim claimed on Tuesday that forces in Uganda are "poised for an assault" on southern Sudan. Speaking at a meeting of the parliamentary defence and security committee, Khetim said there were "hostile gatherings in Uganda poised for an assault on the southern front", according to media reports in Khartoum, carried by AFP.

Media sources in the capital also reported that the eastern states of Kassala, Gedaref and Red Sea have drawn up a joint security plan to guard the Khartoum-Port Sudan highway, which has come under repeated attack by rebel forces. "Those simultaneous security threats in more than one direction are aimed at blocking exportation of Sudanese oil," Khetim was quoted as saying.

Crowds celebrate prospect of Nimeiri's return

The promised return to Sudan of former president Gaafar Nimeiri brought thousands of supporters onto the streets of Khartoum on Tuesday, media sources in the capital reported. Nimeiri, who has lived in Cairo since his overthrow in 1985, was quoted by AP on Tuesday as saying he hoped to return to Sudan between 17 and 24 May.

Abdel-Basit Sabdarat, a close aide of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, was quoted as saying that Khartoum would provide security and appropriate housing for the former head of state, who would not face criminal charges if he returned. Nimeiri was a career soldier and seized power in a coup in 1969 before himself being ousted while on a trip to the US in 1985.

Sudanese and Eritrean presidents discuss border clashes

Last week's outbreak of fighting on the border between Sudan and Eritrea, just days after Presidents al-Bashir and Isayas Afewerki signed a reconciliation agreement, was discussed by the two leaders by phone on Tuesday, AFP news agency reported on Tuesday. It quoted Sudanese foreign minister Mustafa Osman Ismail as saying that the leaders had discussed "the need for addressing the tense situation on Sudan's eastern border and commitment to the Doha reconciliation agreement."

Khartoum alleged last week that Eritrean forces bombed regions in the eastern state of Kassala and provided refuge for rebel forces of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), despite the reconciliation pact precluding such hostile acts one against the other. Eritrea denied the bombing.

President cancels proposed talks with NDA in Cairo

President al-Bashir on Tuesday cancelled a planned meeting in Cairo between his top deputy, First Vice-President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha and Mohamed Osman Al-Mirghani, chairman of the opposition National Democratic Alliance, claiming that its disclosure by the media led to the decision. "There are foreign hands and ill-intentioned people who do not want a detente and resolution of differences among the people of Sudan," he said, according to 'Al-Anbaa' newspaper, quoted by AFP.

TCHA meeting rescheduled

A meeting of the Technical Committee on Humanitarian Assistance (an offshoot of the IGAD process), which was postponed in April, has been rescheduled for 25-26 May in Oslo.


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Item: irin-english-799

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Copyright (c) UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 1999

Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D

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