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Sudan threatens Eritrea with escalation

6/30/2005 1:59am

SANAA, June 29 (AFP) -- Sudan warned neighbouring Eritrea Wednesday that it risked a major flare-up on the border if it pressed ahead with what Khartoum insists is military support for ethnic minority rebels.

"If Eritrea carries on with this behaviour, the international community should expect escalation," Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of Islamic foreign ministers in Yemen.

"The international community... should expect also the situation in eastern Sudan and the borders (with Eritrea) to explode," he said.

Khartoum accuses Asmara of backing the Eastern Front, an alliance of Beja and Rashaidah Arab rebel groups, which controls a strip of Sudanese territory abutting the border.

But the Eritrean authorities counter that the allegations are baseless and an attempt to cover up the Arab-dominated Khartoum regime's "atrocities" against an array of minority groups

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