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Statement by the Government of the Sudan on the Fifth Anniversary Alshifa Pharmaceutical Factory in the Republic of the Sudan by the United States

In one of the most serious manifestations of the dangers and arrogance of dependence on logic of force in international relations, the United States of America under its previous administration, has bombed and destroyed, on this day, five years back, one of the Sudanese industrial establishments which was a successful model in one of the developing countries aspiring to ensure medical necessities and life-saving medicines for its people as well as combating endemic diseases including malaria, Tuberculosis and others.

On 20th August 1998, the U.S. warhead missile 'Tomahawk' was launched to brutally destroy and in few seconds AlShifa Pharmaceutical Factory, depriving millions of Sudanese and citizens of neighbouring countries alike from their medical needs, along with a loss of livelihood suffered by hundreds of Sudanese families, in addition to the destruction of a nearby confectionery factory. Done on basis of fabricated and unfounded information, it is a paradox that the sole super power with latest verification and monitoring know-how means was unable to check and analyze the credibility of its information before committing a human crime against one of the least developed countries.

The previous US Administration justified its action by alleging that the factory is owned by Osama Bin Laden; a fabrication that was immediately refuted by the various US institutions who categorically resolved that the factory has no relationship whatsoever with the development of chemical weapons. The former White House Spokesman Martin Petzwater has added that the destruction of the factory was a cover-up action of the known scandals that surrounded the previous administration. The New Yorker Magazines confirmed in an article that the CIA has removed one hundred reports on Sudan from its files after discovering that their contents were completely fabricated. The frozen assets of the factory owner were released, and the issue is pending in final court ruling for compensation for which one of the congressmen is pursuing.

But, despite of all that, the American Administration could not acknowledge the mistake it had committed nor could it apologize. It does not even think of the replacement of the factory in order to meet the needs of the affected civil population that lost their rights to receive medicine. Indeed, had America accepted or acted on part of that, such would have been a triumph of logic of right and this would have laid the foundation of a reasonably good conduct in international relations.

While appreciating the endeavours by the present American Administration towards the resolution of the Southern Sudan question, the Government and people of the Sudan are concerned over attempts by some sectors in the American Government who are pursuing the same path of fabrications that led to the destruction of AlShifa Pharmaceutical Factory, and relying on the same false information as basis for US policy towards Sudan. For more than a decade, the US Congress, has resorted to issuing condemnations and provoking the Administration to impose sactions against Sudan without proof or evidence, using allegations of fundamentalists and extremist religious groups along with some other circles hostile to all earthly religions.

These sanctions have prolonged the civil strife and deprived the people of other medical needs and of needed spare parts. The "Sudan Peace Act" is an evidence of such machination.

The Government of Sudan, while retaining its right to preserving its interests in the face of aggression, calls upon the human rights groups and humanitarian institutions in the U.S. and the world over to pressurize the American Government to admit its crime in attacking the AlShifa Pharmaceutical Factory and to compensate its owners and the owner of the nearby confectionery factory, as well as to undertake construction of a factory replacing the destroyed one and to offer an apology, while adopting a balanced policy based on scrutinized facts and verified information, along with the lifting of all sanctions unjustly imposed on the Sudan. Such is the only way that can remove this painful memory from the minds of the Sudanese people and the poor people of developing countries.

Sudan hopes that this anniversary will induce the great decision-making powers to exercise care and caution by resorting to international organizations, international law and conventions towards the preservation of international peace and security. Such is the only way to control all aspects and phenomenon of violence and terrorism, and the prevalence of values of tolerance and co-existence among the different cultures and beliers.

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