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Vol 37 No 8

Published 12th April 1996


Sudan

Talk in New York, war in the Horn

Khartoum has fought a rearguard action against UN sanctions but cannot escape a military confrontation with the opposition

The United Nations Security Council's long-awaited vote on sanctions against the Sudan government will disappoint an opposition which had hoped for a decisive moral and practical stand from the international community. That is not how the UN works. As Africa Confidential went to press, lobbying was in full spate and the principles behind the Council's unanimous vote of censure in January were being diluted by self-interest, inefficiency and Khartoum's frenetic lobbying. On 9 April, the United States threw in an extra card by expelling Sudanese UN diplomat Ahmed Youssef Mohamed, alleging involvement in 1993 plans to bomb the UN and attack Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Yet even mild sanctions tighten the vice on Khartoum. The hostility with neighbouring Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Uganda will continue. And we predict a major confrontation between the Sudanese opposition and the National Islamic Front government.

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