A senior Sudanese official on Wednesday denounced a reported meeting between a delegation of Israeli aid “activists” and members from the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N).
Ibrahim Ghandour, an assistant of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, accused Israel of backing the Sudanese opposition and working to destabilize Sudan.
“This is blatant inferences in Sudan’s affairs,” Ghandour told The Anadolu Agency, describing the meeting as a “dangerous precedent.”
Four Israeli aid workers reportedly met at a hotel in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa earlier on Wednesday with some SPLM-N members to discuss the humanitarian needs of people living in Sudan’s Blue Nile and South Kordofan states, an informed source told AA.
He added that the SPLM-N members, led by Yasir Arman, the secretary-general of the rebel movement, also briefed the Israeli delegation on the progress of recent talks between the SPLM-N and Khartoum.
Ghandour described Israel as an “enemy” state that worked to tear Sudan apart and fight it.
“Israel used to support the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in the past,” Ghandour said. “Now it supports militant movements in the western Darfur region,” he added.
He called on Sudan’s opposition not to allow the enemies of their country to interfere in Sudan’s affairs.
“Israeli actions aim to sabotage dialogue between the government of Sudan and the opposition,” the Sudanese official said. “Israel does not want stability to prevail in Sudan,” he added.
He went on to accuse Israel of exploiting inter-Sudanese conflicts to serve its “hostile” goals against the Sudanese people.
Commenting on accusations for Sudan of providing military support for Palestinian faction Hamas, Ghandour said that supporting the Palestinian people was a “matter of principle” for Sudan.
“This support will continue until Jerusalem is liberated and a Palestinian state is established,” Ghandour said.
He added, however, that his country only offered political support for the Palestinian cause, denying Israeli claims about Sudanese military support to Hamas.
“These claims are baseless,” Ghandour said.
AA could not immediately obtain comments from the Israeli government on Ghandour’s remarks.
Since 2011, the SPLM-N has waged an active insurgency against the Sudanese government in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan states.
Outlawed by Khartoum, the movement consists mainly of fighters who sided with the south during Sudan’s decades-long civil war. That conflict ended with a 2005 peace treaty that paved the way for South Sudan’s secession from Sudan six years later.
For the last several days, the SPLM-N has engaged in Ethiopia-hosted peace talks with the Sudanese government, which have yet to yield any tangible results.