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Wednesday, November 5, 1997 Published at 15:02 GMT


Sudan hits back over US sanctions

Madeleine Albright - sanctions imposed because of Sudan's human rights record

The Sudanese government has denounced the United States' decision to impose new economic sanctions on Sudan.

It said the move was an example of the agression the US practiced against countries which did not agree with its policies.

The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mustafa Osman Ismail, said the measures were also a continuation of American support for hostile neighbouring states.

The U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright said the sanctions were imposed on Sudan's government because of its "continued sponsorship of international terrorism, its effort to destabilise neighbouring countries and its abysmal record on human rights".

[ image: General Omar Al Bashir has been accused of being a 'sponsor of Islamic extremism']
General Omar Al Bashir has been accused of being a 'sponsor of Islamic extremism'
Sudan's military leader, General Omar Al Bashir, has been accused of sponsoring Islamic extremism in the region and of habouring what the West described as terrorists.

The US and Egypt accuse Sudan of having a role in the failed attempt to assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Ethiopia in 1995. The two countries say Sudan sheltered the attackers. Khartoum denies any involvement and says it does not know where they are.

In the past, Khartoum has strongly criticized what the US describes as non-lethal military aid to Eritrea, Uganda and Ethiopia, whom Sudan accuses of supporting the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army.

The sanctions are expected to affect the trade in Sudan's raw gum arabic which is used in the manufacture of soft drinks.

However, a BBC correspondent in the region says they are not expected to have much of an economic impact, because some measures are already in force.

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