CAIRO Ñ Sudan has accused Russia of providing weapons to rebels
based near the Libyan border.
Sudanese officials said the military has captured a Russian cargo
helicopter in western Sudan. The officials said the helicopter was believed
to have been ferrying weapons to Sudanese Liberation Movement.
The Russian helicopter was captured by Sudan's military near the
western capital of Fasher, officials said. They said the C-26 helicopter was
believed to have been supplying SLM forces in the Darfour province.
Russia has denied helping the SLM, Middle East Newsline reported. The Russian Foreign Ministry said the
helicopter was on a United Nations relief mission and was coming from the
Republic of Congo.
The ministry said the helicopter was being held by Sudan's military
because it did not have permission to fly over Sudan. Moscow has demanded
that the crew be released.
Khartoum's accusation comes as Sudan's military prepares for a major
offensive against the SLM in Darfour. Over the last three months, the SLM
has captured a string of towns in the western province.