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Vol 41 No 20

Published 13th October 2000


Sudan

No room at the Security Council

The NIF regime fails to shed its pariah status after its bruising battle to win support at the United Nations

As we went to press, Sudanese were still celebrating Khartoum's failure to get elected to the United Nations Security Council on 10 October. This is the same Council which imposed sanctions on the National Islamic Front government in 1996 for its role in the assassination attempt against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak at the Organisation of African Unity summit in Ethiopia (AC Vol 41 No 13). The NIF (now officially the National Congress but still called NIF) badly wanted the seat, in the hope that it would give it international respectability to go with its new-found oil wealth, which has been drawing European and Asian businesses to Khartoum. It contrived to get itself proposed by the OAU as Africa's candidate, won Arab League support and portrayed itself as a victim of United States' imperialism. In Africa, only Uganda publicly opposed it, although many states said privately they would vote against Khartoum. In February, NIF founder Hassan Abdullah el Turabi had boasted that Khartoum had 'financed elections which were won by African Muslim presidents while the stupid people of the West were not aware.' In the UN contest, Mauritius won in four rounds by 113 to 55. The Security Council will not after all be chaired by Sudan's UN Ambassador, El Fatih Mohamed Ahmed Erwa, a former security major who was in Juba in 1992 at the height of government atrocities against civilians.

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