By Jamie Prentis.
Tunis, 28 July 2017:
Sudan’s foreign ministry has summoned Libya’s chargé d’affaires for an explanation after the Sudanese consul and his staff in the south eastern town of Kufra were given 72 hours to leave the country by the Beida-based government.
In the latest move in the on-going row between Beida and Khartoum, the Sudanese diplomats were accused of violating international conventions. The Beida administration and the Libyan National Army (LNA) apparently suspect them of spying.
Ali Muftah Mahroug was told by Sudanese officials that they completely rejected allegations that the diplomats violated anything.
For his part, Mahroug explained that he represented the Presidency Council (PC)-backed government in Tripoli, not the authorities in Beida, Kufra, though, was not under the control of the PC, and it was unaware of the decision to expel the Sudanese. He said he would raise the matter with Libyan officials but indicated there was not much that the foreign ministry in Tripoli could do about the matter.
For part, the Sudanese foreign ministry said that it “regrets the statement made by the Libyan Interim Government headed by Abdulla Al-Thinni to close the Sudanese consulate in Kufra on the basis of unfounded accusations that some of the consulate staff have exceeded their normal duties”.
In the current row, between Beida and Khartoum, the LNA has accused Sudan of sponsoring terrorism. For its part, Khartoum has accused the LNA forces of employing rebels from its Darfur region to fight for it.