Sudan militarily backs Libyan rebels: Bashir to Youm7
President Omar al-Bashir - AFP/Tony Karumba

CAIRO: Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir said his country’s military support to all Libyan rebels began when the Libyan revolution broke out in February 2011.

“When the revolution started in Libya, we supported all the revolutionaries; we say that all rebels in Sudan, whether in South Sudan  or Darfur, were funded 100 percent by Gadhafi,” Bashir said in an interview with Youm7 that was published Monday.

Omar al-Bashir was indicted by the International Criminal Court in 2009 for war crimes committed in the Darfur region of Sudan. If he were to travel to a state that is a signatory to the Rome statute, the country would be treaty-bound to extradite him to the Hague to face charges of genocide.  Egypt is not a signatory to the Rome statute.

Bashir told Youm7 that Sudan militarily supported the rebels in Kafra, Benghazi, Misrata, the Western Mountain and Zintan cities in Libya, which hence created good relations with all rebels there. He continued that the Sudanese cooperated with Prime Minister of Libyan Interim government Abdullah al-Thinni, when he was Minister of Defense.

He noted that Sudan opened its military colleges for Libyan troops and supplied the Libyan Army with military ammunition and fighter jets. Moreover, both countries established Libyan-Sudanese joint forces in Kafra and there are Sudanese troops inside Libya, he continued.

Bashir highlighted coordination between Egypt and Sudan to secure their borders with Libya as it “represents danger to Egypt and Sudan.” He added both sides agreed that the Libyan crisis should be solved politically through communication with conflicting parties inside Libya.

Rejects support of Muslim Brotherhood

“What had been reported on Sudan’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and that we are against the change is untrue. Our stances are very clear and we had announced that what had happened in Egypt is an internal affair,” Bashir said, noting that since Sisi was elected as a president, the relations between both sides have been good.

Bashir, who belongs to a Muslim Brotherhood branch in Sudan, added that his country is not against the June 30 incidents.

Since the ouster of the former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 and the dispersal of the pro-Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins in Cairo in August 2013, many MB members and supporters fled Egypt for Sudan, the U.K., Qatar, Turkey, and South Africa.

More cooperation with Egypt

Bashir called on Egyptians to invest in Sudan, and urged the revival of the “Golden Triangle” project, which would also link Egypt, Sudan and Libya.

Under such project the three countries would achieve integration using natural and human resources of the three countries.

He noted that there are three paved roads, announcing that a project of railway between Egypt and Sudan will be established. He continued that an electricity network would be established between both sides as Sudan extended its power network to its border with Egypt.

Additional  reporting by Yossif Ayoub

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