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Sudan president accuses Egypt of aiding Darfur insurgency

Omar al-Bashir says Egyptian armoured vehicles have been seized in southern region, days before his top diplomat flies to Cairo
Omar al-Bashir said Darfur rebels were using Egyptian military vehicles (AFP)

Sudan's president accused Egypt on Tuesday of supporting rebels at war with Khartoum, a week before his foreign minister was due to visit Cairo to discuss easing tensions between the neighbouring states.

In a speech to Sudanese armed forces on Tuesday, Omar al-Bashir said Sudan's military had seized Egyptian armoured vehicles from rebels in the country's war-torn southern Darfur region.

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"We have seized these armoured vehicles and great number of military vehicles and machinery," said al-Bashir at a ceremony to celebrate veterans at the defence ministry headquarters.

"We say with high [certainty] that they are Egyptian armoured vehicles," he said.

"Egypt has never provided us with any support in 20 years of war in South Sudan," he noted.

Bashir, who is wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court, has been at war with various rebel factions in three southern regions for years.

The US said earlier this year it would lift longstanding economic sanctions if Sudan made progress on ending these conflicts, with an initial review period set to expire in July.

Bashir's foreign minister, Ibrahim Ghandour, is expected to travel to Cairo on 31 May to discuss, among other issues, a simmering trade dispute that has blocked Egyptian agricultural imports.

Egypt and Sudan have been at odds in recent months over a litany of issues ranging from disputed land in Egypt's south to trade restrictions and burdensome visa requirements that have threatened trade ties between the two countries.

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