Sudan’s defense minister, Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein, has accused “24 Jewish organizations” of “fueling the conflict in Darfur” last week in an interview with a Saudi newspaper.
Hussein was interviewed during an official state-visit to the Saudi kingdom last week.
A journalist from Saudi Arabia’s Okaz newspaper asked Hussein: “Some people are talking about the penetration of Jewish organizations in Darfur and that there is no conflict there?”
“The Darfur issue is being fuelled by 24 Jewish organizations, who are making the largest amount of noise over the issue, and using the Holocaust in their campaigning,” the Sudanese defense minister replied.
Hussein added that the Darfur conflict was driven by “friction between farmers and herders and shepherds. Among the biggest problems is that of water, which is used to exploit the differences and fuel the conflict.”
“Are these Jewish groups supporting (the rebels) financially?,” the interviewer from Okaz asked Hussein.
“Yes, they provide political and material support through their control over the media and across American and British circles,” Hussein said, adding that Jewish groups were using “all means to fuel these conflicts.”
He added that Western reports of 200,000 people dying in Sudan were false, and said: “We talk about 9,000 dead as a result of either government or rebel actions.”
Several days ago, Sudan’s Interior Minister, Zubair Bashir Taha, lashed out at Sudanese refuees who had sought asylum in Israel, and accused “Isaeli authorities of encouraging the Sudanese refugees to come to their country.”
He added that his ministry was “very confused” by Sudanese citizens who came to Israel.”
The Sudan Tribune quoted a Sudanese refugee as telling al-Jazeera television: “We were surprised when we came here. We met good people, who welcomed us and gave us food. We feel that we are extremely happy. We hope that the Israeli government would find a solution for us and our children. We came here to look for a better place.”
Meanwhile, in the US, a number of Jewish organizations have attempted to raise awareness over the plight of Sudanese citizens who face mass killings and ethnic cleansing from the Sudanese government. Some 20 Jewish organizations joined the ‘Save Darfur Coalition,’ along with other religious communities and American civil rights groups.