Sudan Seeks NAM's Support In Dispute With US

Paul Ejime,

DURBAN, South Africa (PANA) -August 31: Sudan's foreign minister, Mustafa Osman, Monday called for the support of the Non-Aligned Movement in its dispute with the United States, over the 20 August missile attack on a pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum.

''We have brought the issue before the movement because we believe in political resolution of the problem,'' he told a press conference in Durban, venue of the 12th NAM summit.

Describing the US attack ''flagrant aggression'' against Sudan and a violation of the UN charter, the minister said Khartoum had also sought the support of the UN, OAU and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference to condemn the action.

Denying Washington's claim that the bombed factory was producing chemical weapons, Osman said Khartoum ''has requested the Security Council to send an investigative team to Sudan to prove to the world that the factory produces medical drugs.''

At least one person was killed while several others were injured in the attack, which the minister said destroyed the factory and rendered some 300 people jobless.

He said even if the factory were to be under any suspicion, it was the responsibility of the UN as protector of peace in the world to investigate and take action, and not a country acting unilateraly.

But Osman ruled out any military retaliation against the US, saying Sudan could instead take the case to the International Court of Justice for adjudication.

He said the unfriendly relationship between Khartoum and Washtington was deep-rooted, with America accusing Sudan of terrorism, ''but we condemn terrorism in all its ramifications.''

Osman also accused Uganda of supporting ''America's destabilsation'' of Sudan and other African countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is currently facing a rebellion.

''We know that Uganda is a close ally of the United States and we are not surprised because we know that Kampala has ambition to destabilise African countries,'' he added