The U.S. military has sent its first force into Sudan
U.S. officials said a force from the new Combined Joint Task Force-Horn
of Africa arrived in Khartoum last week. The force represented a logistics
support mission and included a C-130 transport aircraft, Middle East Newsline reported.
U.S. Army Col. Dennis Giddens, a defense liaison officer in Sudan, said
this was the first appearance of U.S. troops in Sudan in a decade. The
United States attacked Sudan in 1998 after it was accused of harboring Al
Qaida insurgents who bombed the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
U.S. officials said the arrival of the military task force in Sudan
marked a significant improvement in relations between Khartoum and
Washington. They said Sudan has contributed significantly to the
U.S.-led war against Al Qaida, including intelligence exchange and the
extradition of suspects.
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"Landing here today is symbolic because what pushed our two countries
apart 10 years ago is now pulling us together and that is the war against
terrorism," Giddens said.
The State Department said Sudan continues to harbor some groups on the
list of terrorist organizations. They include Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Military relations between Khartoum and Washington were improved in
2002. At the time, the Sudanese government invited the Defense Department to
open a U.S. military liasion office in Khartoum. In January 2002, Washington
helped achieve a ceasefire between the Khartoum regime and the Sudanese
People's Liberation Army.
Sudan still remains on a list of State Department terrorist sponsors. On
Thursday, the State Department imposed sanctions on seven Sudanese companies
and individuals in connection with the financing of groups deemed as