(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." ## For more information, please contact: U.S. Information Agency Office of Public Liaison Telephone: (202) 619-4355 2/3/97 # # # .