Sudan suggested Sunday that a relief plane from a U.N.-linked group may have spied for the United States just before the American missile strike on a Sudanese factory.
Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail told reporters in the Kenyan capital that Sudanese suspicions were aroused because a plane from Operation Lifeline Sudan had been cleared to land just prior to the Aug. 20 cruise missile attack but instead circled the airport and then flew away.Its flight path took it very close to the targeted factory, he added.
Ismail said Sudan had no direct proof the plane was conducting surveillance, but said: "This is our analysis."
Neither U.S. officials nor representatives of the Kenya-based relief organization could immediately be reached for comment. The group works with the United Nations and other relief organizations in funneling aid to Sudanese in the country's south, convulsed by civil war.
Sudan has long been critical of Operation Lifeline Sudan, accusing it repeatedly in the past of aiding the southern rebels.
Ismail was in Kenya for a stopover en route to Durban, South Africa, for the Nonaligned Move-ment summit. At the gathering, Sudanese President Omar el-Bashir plans to make an issue of the U.S. strike, which came 13 days after the twin bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 258 people, including 12 Americans.
The Clinton administration said the targeted sites had links to Saudi exile Osama bin Laden, whom it accuses of inspiring and bankrolling the embassy attacks.