News


(Foreign Media Reaction Daily Digest)



CONFLICT IN SUDAN:  TEHRAN EXPORTING REVOLUTION; WEST VS.
ISLAM?



Observers in Muslim countries in the Middle East and Asia

decried the civil war in Sudan, charging that the fighting

had been orchestrated by "foreign powers," ostensibly the

United States and Iran, "in order to "weaken" pan-Arabism

as Middle East politics--driven by the Arab-Israeli peace

talks--undergo a paradigmatic shift from war to peace. 

Commentators expressed the hope that Sudan's internal

disputes will be resolved in a way that would safeguard

that nation's interests, "territorial integrity" and

"national unity."  Both the Sudanese government and the

rebel movement were urged to engage in dialogue to end the

conflict.  There was no editorial comment from Sudan but

its official radio station highlighted domestic support for

fighting any invading forces from neighboring Ethiopia and

Eritrea.

  

Much of the commentary came under the category of the

purported "West vs. Islam" dichotomy, with Muslim writers

charging that Sudan's war has provided Washington with a

way to get even with the Islamic fundamentalist regime in

Khartoum, reportedly the world's largest training camp for

terrorists.  Iranian and Iraqi papers led Arab and Muslim

complaints about the loss of Arab prestige and accused the

United States and Israel of waging a "proxy war" in the

Horn of Africa.  Many of these commentators claimed that

U.S. assistance to Ethiopia, Eritrea and Uganda was

intended to help Sudan's neighbors aid the rebellion and

send troops into the country.  This same group of writers

also protested the international embargo against Khartoum. 

Amman's pro-government Al-Ray, for example,  maintained,

"America does not seem to want to end this ferocious war no

matter how long it goes on.   All America seems to want  is

to retain the international diplomatic sanctions imposed on

Sudan last  year."

 

Pro-government and opposition papers in Egypt supported the

Mubarak government's policy of non-interference in the war. 

Nevertheless, these papers accused Iran, Israel and Iraq of

complicity in the fighting and said that the strife "was

also directed at Egypt."  Opposition Al Wafd worried that

Sudan's appeal to Tehran for help--subsequently denied by

Sudan--provided Iran with "a golden opportunity" to

"besiege the Arab world via the Red Sea, to be able to

export its revolution westward."  Pro-government Al Akhbar 

warned that "Egypt will not stand idle if a foreign power

were to intervene in the Sudan."



In Belgium, independent De Morgen warned of a "mega-war

threatening in Africa" stretching perhaps some 3,000

kilometers from the upper border of Eritrea to the southern

border of Burundi.  Citing a University of Antwerp

scholar's study of the fighting in Zaire, Rwanda, Burundi

and the current crisis in Sudan, the paper said, "The issue

is a series of conflicts which, in principle, have nothing

to do with each other but in which the fighting parties are

each other's allies....  'Only now does Washington realize

that it has opened Pandora's box and it is as scared of an

implosion as we [Europeans] are.'"



This survey is based on 26 reports from 10 countries,

January 19-February 3.



EDITOR:  Gail Hamer Burke

                               MIDDLE EAST

                                    

SUDAN:  "SPLA Major General To Fight Against Ethiopia"



Official Sudanese radio reported (1/29), "Major General

Kerubino Kwanyin, [a] leader of the SPLA [Sudan People's

Liberation Army], Bahr Al-Ghazal wing, has announced that

his forces will fight alongside government forces against

the iniquitous Ethiopian aggression on our eastern border. 

Major General Kerubino's statement came following his

arrival today in Damazin town, capital of the Blue Nile

state.  He said that denominationalism and partisanship had

failed to achieve any progress in the country and had

hampered efforts to establish peace.  He added that the

Ethiopian attack on our eastern border with the scattered

remnants of the opposition and [SPLA leader] Garang

threatened national unity.  Kerubino affirmed that the

factions that signed with the government the political

charter for peace were striving to develop this charter

into a full agreement."

 

"Eritreans In Sudan Reportedly Condemn 'Aggression' In

East"



Official Sudanese radio announced (1/24) that "the Eritrean

community in Khartoum has staged a march in Khartoum to

protest against what the Afewerki regime is doing against

Sudan and against its support for saboteurs, rebel

remnants, agents and mercenaries....   This was said during

a meeting between a delegation from the [Eritrean Islamic

Jihad] movement and retired Major General Abul Qasim

Ibrahim, the governor of Kassala, during which they

delivered a letter to him affirming the Eritrean people's

support for the Sudanese people.  They stated that what the

Eritrean regime was doing was a plot executed with support

from the states of arrogance to eliminate the Islamic

orientation in Sudan."



BAHRAIN:  "U.S. Involvement" 



Leading, semiofficial Akhbar Al-Khalij ran this comment

(1/29) by Adnan Bumtai:  "U.S. involvement in what is

happening in east Sudan cannot be denied because the State

Department spokesman admitted U.S. financial aid to

Eritrea, Ethiopia and Uganda, but said that the aid was not

for lethal weapons but to buy clothes, bags and shoes for

the soldiers....  The situation obliges the Arabs to

support Sudan in the face of attempts to divide it."



"Foreign Intervention"



Leading, semiofficial Akhbar Al-Khalij, in a commentary by

Hafedh Al-Shaikh, said (1/28):  "Financial aid, in millions

of dollars, given by the United States to the governments

of Addis Ababa, Asmara and Kampala to enable them to

support the Sudanese opposition, is proof of foreign

intervention in Sudanese affairs and of the assaults

against it."



"Once Burned By Sudan"



Omran Salman wrote in leading, semi-independent Al-Ayam

(1/18):  "It is natural that the United Nations Security

Council announces that it has does not have enough

information on events in Sudan, and it is natural that the

Arab and African countries do not answer Sudan's letters

because the situation there is entirely an internal issue

between the government and the opposition....  The logic

which the Sudanese government now uses to explain its case

to the world was the same logic used by those harmed by its

policies in the past....  And of course he who lies once,

twice and three times will not be believed even when he

tells the truth.  Countries burned once by Sudan will not

tolerate it again."



"Sudan's Conflicts"



According to Ali Sayyar, writing in leading, semiofficial

Akhbar Al-Khalij (1/18), "In the past we called Sudan 'the

breadbasket of the Arabs'...and efforts were made to invest

in its 



agriculture....  But Sudan (failed) owing to internal

conflicts and [Sudan People's Liberation Army leader]

Garang's useless war in the south....  Perhaps because

there are some people who want to wear jeans instead of

Islamic dress, to eat with the knife instead of with their

hands, and to enjoy Madonna instead of reading the

Koran...(is the reason why) that Sudan, with an Islamic

ideology and Arab identity, and which embraces Islam in the

heart of the black continent, has long faced a war waged by

separatists supported by foreign forces known for their

hate of anything Arab."



EGYPT:  "We Will Not Stand Idle If A Foreign Power

Intervenes In Sudan"

 

Ossama El Gammal, columnist, pro-government Al Akhbar

(2/3): "Although the Sudanese government insists that

foreign powers (Eritrea and Ethiopia) stand behind these

confrontations, the real reason is the government's

domestic and foreign policy failure....  We do not need to

confirm that Egypt's clear policy is that this is a

strictly internal Sudanese affair, although Egypt will not

stand idle if a foreign power were to intervene in the

Sudan....  The greatest danger is that these circumstances

may create a rift in the military, and then the government

will not be able to  confront a military attack if the

southern front is opened, especially after its failure to

obtain foreign support." 



"No Sanctions Against Sudan"



Talaat Romeih, columnist, Islamist-leaning opposition Al

Shaab (1/31): "The U.S. announcement that it seeks new

sanctions against the Sudan reveals the truth anew.  All 

the masks have fallen....  The United States has flagrantly

declared its criminal positions against all Arab

countries....  This clearly shows that the rebels have

become broken....  The United States had to oppose the

Sudan with all its might.  Israel was delegated in leading

the invasion, which is not only aimed at the Sudan but also

at Egypt.  However, (the United States) has forgotten the

lesson of Lebanon where 200 marines were killed and the

lesson of suicidal attacks in Palestine.  It seems that it

needs a reminder."



"Sudan Asks Tehran For Help"



Opposition Al Wafd remarked (1/27), "Finding itself

isolated by  most of the Arab countries, the  Sudan asked

Tehran for help....  Iran found this a golden opportunity

to  intervene in the Sudan, and also to besiege the Arab

world via the Red Sea, to be able to export its revolution

westward.  However, this time it is threatening Egyptian

national security directly....  Does Cairo insist that what

is happening is a Sudanese  internal affair?  Then, how

could the two enemies Iraq and Iran unite in supporting the

regime in  Khartoum?...  Iraqi-Iranian assistance...will

only increase the bloodshed....  It is a mistake to think

that they  want to support the Sudanese rulers, because

their ultimate aim is to  avenge their isolation...by

hitting  Arab national security as a whole....  Will the

Egyptian official position remain silent?"



"Clinton Gave Green Light To Invasion In Sudan"



Mohamed Gamal Arafa wrote in Islamist-leaning, opposition

Al Shaab (1/24): "There was news in November of U.S.

assistance to Ethiopia, Eritrea and Uganda, with the United

States claiming to support the stability of these

countries.  However, the Washington Post published a

commentary revealing...that President Clinton gave the

green light to the invasion of the Sudan, and sent arms to

neighboring countries and Sudanese opposition to do the

job....  Certainly, this coincided with (the UN) discussion

of the air embargo on the Sudan.  Now it is clear who the

leader of the aggression is."



"U.S. And Israel Supporting Rebellion In Southern Sudan"



Mohamed Al Haiawan, a columnist for opposition Al Wafd,

maintained (1/22), "It is said that the United States is

besieging the Sudan, that Israel is supporting the

rebellion in southern Sudan, 



and that Egypt is angry at the Sudanese regime.  The

situation in the Sudan is getting worse.  Some advise

Bashir and Turabi to seek asylum in another country so that

Mahdi could return to rule....  But the joke will be on the

United States, because it will not be able to besiege the

Sudan once it becomes a democratic country.  The United

States  will have to assist the Sudan instead.  Israel will

not have a chance to muddy the waters....  I believe  this

solution will be supported by most  Arabs."



IRAQ:  "U.S. Attempts To Fragment Sudan" 



Government-run Al-Jumhuriyah charged (1/29), "The nature of

weapons and the firepower used in the invasion attempt

constitute a double scandal for the U.S. administration and

for the two poles of the invasion; namely Eritrea and

Ethiopia, because the latter two countries do not have the

material capability to keep the momentum of the invasion as

it is unless they receive support from a foreign party that

has such a capability."  The paper added that the Arab

position on Sudan has not risen to the level of the

seriousness required to confront such threats:  "Those who

blow the U.S. trumpets did not learn the lessons from the

U.S. aggression on Iraq or from its serious repercussions

on pan-Arab security.  The insistence by some of them on

playing the same role confirms their actual partnership as

humiliated henchmen who are implementing a U.S. scheme

hostile to the Arabs and to their pan-Arab aspirations."



"'Unified' Position To Protect Arab Security" 



Government-owned, organ of the Arab socialist Baath Party

Al-Thawrah (1/26) called for a unified Arab position to

safeguard pan-Arab security:  "Foreign parties are

targeting pan-Arab security.  It is not difficult for

anyone to determine these sides' identity and their

declared and undeclared objectives."  The paper referred to

the blockades imposed on Iraq and Libya and the aggression

in southern and eastern Sudan and said,  "The current

situation necessitates that no one Arab country should be

left alone to confront these plans while others watch the

scenes of mass slaughter of Arabs.  Those who watch now

only wait for their turn....  The Arabs, who have all

pillars of development and progress, should be 

introspective to confront foreign challenges strongly and

resolutely and to create all necessary factors of awakening

at this age."



"'Fraternal' Sudan"



Iraqi television ran a report (1/22) on the letter that

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein received from "fraternal"

Sudan which explained the "Eritrean and Ethiopian

aggression against Sudan....  The leader president, may God

watch over him, reiterated Iraq's principled support for

Sudan and any other Arab country that is exposed to a

foreign aggression." 

 

JORDAN:  "Settling Scores With Regime In Sudan" 



An editorial on the front page of pro-government,

influential Al-Ray (1/26) said: "The U.S. stance on the

events in Sudan is contradictory:  On the one hand, 

Nicholas Burns says that the United States has asked

countries neighboring Sudan not to send foreign mercenaries

to the battlefield; on  the other, the American Embassy in

Khartoum has announced that what is happening in Sudan is

an internal affair between the regime and the opposition. 

In both cases, America does not seem to want to end this

ferocious war no matter how long it goes on.   All America

seems to want  is to retain the international diplomatic

sanctions imposed on Sudan last  year."



"Sudan And The Arabs"



Ibrahim Absi, the head of the Jordanian Writers

Association, argued in pro-government, influential Al-Ray

(1/22), "Will the Arab countries sit and watch with folded

hands the new 



wound in Sudan?  Will they settle again for more statements

of denunciation and condemnation?  Doesn't this aggression

against Sudan require a genuine Arab awakening and a united

stand to stop the killing of this rich and promising Arab

country that is a genuine economic, political and military

source for the Arab nation?  The criminal schemes that are

being put together against the Arab nation will not end

with Sudan.  There are more horrible schemes to divide the

Arab nation and bring it into the dark tunnel of weakness

and degradation....  Are we going to learn the lesson of

the aggression against Sudan?"



"We Support The Sudanese Government  But Its Critics Must

Be Heard"



Jamil Nimri, a leftist, opined on the op-ed page of pro-

government, influential Arabic daily Al-Ra'y (1/22), "There

is nothing wrong with Jordan's official stand on Sudan. 

Whatever the circumstances, any armed action violating the

sovereignty of any Arab country should be condemned. 

However, as politicians, we cannot ignore the other side of

the coin and the fact that Arab regimes insist on

restraining opposition....  Political diversity, as well as

ethnic diversity, are a de facto situation in Sudan.  The

current Sudanese regime cannot solve the problems by

ignoring them."



"Sudan's Independence Should Be Protected"



Pro-government, influential, largest circulation Arabic

daily Al-Ra'y  held (1/19), "What fraternal Sudan is being

subjected to is part of a conspiracy  against its unity, 

sovereignty, and territorial integrity.  The UN Security

Council is silent and is not responding to Sudan's request

for a special emergency session to discuss the situation. 

Ethiopia and Eritrea are playing host to the so-called

Sudan People's Liberation Army, and are  giving logistic

and other assistance to the rebels in the south and the

east.  Moreover, there is the siege imposed against Sudan

and led by the United States, very similar to the sanctions

imposed against Iraq and  Libya."



YEMEN:  "Events In Sudan"



According to government Al Thawra  (1/26):  "Yemen's

position toward the developments in Sudan does not differ

from its position toward the security and stability of any

country in the Horn of Africa or the region....  The use of

the Sudanese opposition by foreign governments as an

umbrella for settling accounts with the Sudanese government

will create unprecedented dangers in future relationships

between states in the region."



                               SOUTH ASIA

                                    

IRAN:  "'Conspiracies' Against Sudan"



Official Iranian radio commented (1/29) "The statements

made by the Sudanese vice president during his visit to our

country indicate that there are pre-planned conspiracies by

arrogance aimed at inflicting blows on the Islamic

government of Sudan.   Referring to the recent events in

his country, Sudanese First Vice President Zubayr Muhammad

Salih has said that the United States and Israel are trying

to weaken that country's Islamic movement through a variety

of conspiracies, the provocation of rebels opposed to the

central government, and by fanning the flames of ethnic and

political disputes.  This is at a time when the other

conspiracies of Washington and Tel Aviv are targeting

Islamic movements in the Middle East and the Horn of

Africa, making life as difficult for them as possible.... 

New acts of aggression indicating the behind-the-scenes

aims and intentions of the warmongers, and the military

attack on Sudan's territory revealed a corner of the

colonialist plans for imposition of a new kind of pressure

on Islamic countries.  And there is no doubt that if

assistance to Sudan's enemies had been halted, the recent

military operations could not have taken place and, in

those circumstances, peace-seeking efforts would probably

have succeeded.... 









"What gives cause for hope here is that the resistance and

steadfastness of the Sudanese people and the wisdom and

clearmindedness of some of the countries of the region

that...has impeded the spreading of the conspiracy against

Khartoum and its neighbors."



"Tehran Will Offer Diplomatic Support, Humanitarian Aid To

Sudan"



Official Iranian radio held (1/29), "It is known that

relations between Tehran and Khartoum have been developing

constantly since the triumph of the Islamic revolution in

Iran.  Senior officials in both countries have exchanged

visits, including the visit President Hashemi-Rafsanjani

paid to Sudan in September last year.   However, the visits

Sudanese officials paid to Tehran recently, in addition to

being part of the contacts involved in bilateral relations,

take on special importance because of the problems Sudan is

facing at present.   The Islamic Republic of Iran views the

military developments on the Sudanese borders with Eritrea

as part of a scheme to shake the stability of the Sudanese

government and threaten Sudan's territorial integrity. 

Hence, Tehran denounces any aggression on Sudan and

supports its territorial integrity.  Khartoum is facing a

serious crisis that requires the backing and support of all

Islamic and friendly states.  Being very concerned about

the aggression on Sudan, Tehran will make diplomatic

efforts to support Sudan at the international level. It

will not hesitate to provide humanitarian assistance to the

sons of the Sudanese people."



"U.S. Has Waged A 'Proxy War' In Sudan" 



The official English-language Tehran Times opined (1/25) in

an article stressing Khartoum's complaint that Ethiopia,

Eritrea, Uganda, Egypt and the United States are extending

aid to the Sudanese rebels (1/25):  "In order to secure a

foothold in the region, the United States has waged a proxy

war in Sudan.  And in this war, the U.S. role is not overt; 

it carries its plots into effect through its regional

allies and Israel."  It stressed that all the regional

countries involved should bear in mind that Sudan's

neighbors have similar problems with their own ethnic

groups and neighbors' support for the rebels will lead to

the destabilization of the whole region:  "It is the

territorial integrity of Sudan which is at stake.  If today

it is Sudan which has fallen prey to the U.S. plots,

tomorrow it will be the turn of its neighbors."



"The American People And Their Government's Hostility

Toward Iran"



Tehran's official, English-language Iran News opined

(1/19), "America's power structure seeking enemies and the

clash of civilizations, are invented enemies--Muslims,

Iran, Sudan and others--entirely due to the internal needs

of the United States.  The U.S. power structure is

gradually losing its legitimacy and popular support.  The

U.S. government, the representative of various lobbies and

an extremely small minority, does not represent the people

of the United States.  Voting records, sometimes much less

than 50 percent, in spite of massive mass media propaganda,

is indicative of the fact that voters in the United States

have come to the conclusion that their votes do not make a

difference and, in reality, they have been excluded from

the political process. The irrational enmity of the United

States toward Iran is not related to the issue of

democracy.... 



"An abundance of wealth and a sense of fair play have made

Americans a decent people.  Alas, this cannot be said of

the ruling elite who run America.  This minority does not

reflect the true spirit and character of Americans.   It is

truly up to the people of America, Christians, Muslim, the

Jewish and others, especially Iranian expatriates living in

the United States, to make sure that the message gets

across to the American people that Iranians have the

greatest respect for them.  The experience of American

citizens who live in Iran bear witness to this fact....  It

should be the aim of the good people in the United States

to stop the wayward behaviour of the U.S.  government and

put an end to the abuse of power by a small minority in the

name of the people of the United States which is against

the interests of all Americans."

 





                                 EUROPE

                                    

BELGIUM:  "A Mega-War Threatening In Africa"



In a front-page article, independent De Morgen (1/30) said,

"The war between the Zairian rebels and the government army

threatens to wind up in a total regional war in which major

parts of Africa may be involved, says University of Antwerp

Professor Filip Reyntjens, one of the principal experts on

Africa.  'There is the threat of an implosion of East,

Central and Southern Africa,' he warns.  The scenario that

is gradually being formed is that of an immense front-line

from the upper border of Eritrea to the southern border of

Burundi, i.e., a 3,000-kilometer distance.  The issue is a

series of conflicts which, in principle, have nothing to do

with each other but in which the fighting parties are each

other's allies.  The Western powers have underestimated

heavily the danger of an escalation.  'Initially, the

United States supported Rwanda and the rebels in eastern

Zaire because of the access to southern Sudan,' Reyntjens

says.  In that area, the United States also supports the

rebel movement that is fighting the fundamentalist regime

in the capital of Khartoum which is, according to

Washington, the world's largest training camp for

terrorists.  'Only now does Washington realize that its has

opened Pandora's box and it is as scared of an implosion as

we are....  In Reyntjens's view, there is only one way to

avoid a mega-war: a demilitarized zone with an

international armed force between Zaire and Rwanda."



ITALY:  "Outlaw States (Or Almost So)"



A commentary in provocative, classical liberal Il Foglio

said (1/28): "While the new U.S. secretary of

state...confirmed her hostility toward Fidel Castro, we

were informed  that Bill Clinton authorized Occidental

Petroleum to exploit an oil field  in Sudan.  This

move...represents a significant reinforcement of 

Khartoum's fundamentalist government....  According to the

Americans, South Africa should be condemned because it

supplies arms to Syria (thus  fostering terrorism) while

Occidental's oil investment is peaceful....  In her speech,

Secretary of State Albright expressed platonic condemnation 

of China for civil rights violations in Hong Kong....  At

least, the  Europeans are more explicit because they aim at

the growth of commerce  and investment to fight...terrorism

and human rights violations.  On the  contrary, the

Americans look like irreproachable champions defending 

rights while doing so only in alternating waves according

to their  business interests."

  

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2/3/97

         



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