Friday, October 26, 2012

AU condemns attack on Sudan military factory

African Union Commission chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma addresses the AU Peace and Security Council on October 24, 2012 in Addis Ababa. PHOTO / AFP

African Union Commission chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma addresses the AU Peace and Security Council on October 24, 2012 in Addis Ababa. PHOTO / AFP 

By AGGREY MUTAMBO amutambo@ke.nationmedia.com

The African Union has condemned the attacks on a military factory in Sudan in which two civilians died.

AU Commission Chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma accused an unnamed culprit of violating international law and disrespecting the sovereignty of Sudan.

A statement from the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa Ethiopia said Dr Dlamini-Zuma had received a Sudanese envoy who reported that Israel had been responsible for the attacks on the Al-Yarmook arms and ammunition factory.

“The Chairperson is deeply concerned by this development, and expresses her dismay at the tragic loss of innocent human lives and property.

“She strongly condemns this attack against Sudan, a founding member of the AU, in violation of international law, and calls for the full respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Sudan."

On Tuesday evening, the factory, situated on the suburbs of the Sudanese Capital, Khartoum, was shelled by planes causing a huge fire although no deaths were initially reported.

The Sudanese government quickly pointed a finger of blame to Israel for causing the attacks.

Culture and Information minister Ahmed Bilal Osman told the BBC four Israeli planes had attacked the factory. Israel has not officially commented on the matter.

It was not clear what decision the AU plans but Sudanese officials also reported Israel to the UN claiming Israel had violated Sudanese airspace with airstrikes.

The source of the animosity between the two countries could be the suspicion by Israel that Sudan ferries Iranian arms to Hamas, as Wikileaks cables indicated in 2010.

Hamas is a political party, with a military wing, that governs the Gaza strip and seeks to stop the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

AFP news agency also reported that Israel sees Sudan as a terrorist state, claims the Sudanese deny.

Last year, Sudan accused Israel of hurling bombs to Port Sudan in which two people were killed in a car. That was two years after a convoy was attacked in Sudan.

Israel could be silent, but the Sudanese accusations and decisions to report the matter to the UN could be a further indication that there could be more than meets the eye.

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