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Saturday, August 29, 1998 Published at 16:38 GMT 17:38 UK

World: Africa

Sudan seeks OAU summit on missile attack

Sudan insists the factory made only medicines

Sudan has asked for a special summit of the Organisation of African Unity to decide a pan-African position on the US missile strikes on a Khartoum industrial plant last week.

The Sudanese Vice President, George Kongor Arop, said that Sudan also intended to take its case to next week's summit of non-aligned countries in South Africa.

"We want other member states of the OAU and the Non-Aligned Movement to understand that this aggression does not affect Sudan only. Tomorrow it could hit other countries," he said.

Mr Arop made the announcement in Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso, which currently holds the OAU presidency.

Nerve gas

Sudan has vehemently denied American allegations that the El Shifa pharmaceutical plant made agents that could be used to manufacture chemical weapons.

Last week the American Under-Secretary of State, Thomas Pickering, said that a soil sample taken from the factory contained traces of a chemical known as EMPTA whose only only known use is as a component of VX nerve gas.

The Sudanese Government also said that the factory had nothing to do with Osama bin Laden, the dissident Saudi millionaire suspected by the US of being behind the embassy bombings.

The US missile strikes on targets in Sudan and Afghanistan on 20 August were in retaliation for the bombing of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

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