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Sudan Files Complaint Against Eritrea with UN

The Sudanese government has filed a complaint with the United Nations against its neighbor, Eritrea, for Eritrea's alleged support of rebel groups operating in eastern Sudan. Also, the Sudanese parliament and the southern administration are each set to consider a draft constitution completed Sunday.

Khartoum has long accused Eritrea of trying to destabilize Sudan by supporting rebel groups in the east and in the west's Darfur region.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail is currently in the United States holding meetings with senior U.S. and U.N. officials on a wide range of developments in Sudan.

The secretary general of Sudan's External Information Council, Rasheed Khider, tells VOA Mr. Ismail took that opportunity to lodge a formal complaint to the United Nations against what he calls Eritrea's interference in Sudan's affairs.

"The complaint is that Eritrea is threatening the peace and tranquility of Sudan, and therefore they tried to put Sudan in a difficult position at a time of peacemaking," he said.

Mr. Khider says the Sudanese government is waiting for the U.N. response.

VOA was unable to reach Eritrean officials for comment. Eritrea has repeatedly denied charges that it supports rebels in the east and in Darfur.

The area around Port Sudan on the Red Sea has been volatile in recent weeks, with the Eastern Front rebel movement launching an offensive against government garrisons in the area.

The movement claims that the Sudanese government retaliated by dropping bombs on the area.

The rebels say they are waging war to draw attention to what they believe is Khartoum's long-standing policy of denying the people in the area a fair share of the country's wealth, resources, and political power.

Meanwhile, a committee Sunday completed a draft interim constitution that is to be debated by the Sudanese parliament and the southern administration.

The constitution is provided for under the north-south agreement that the Sudanese government and the south's main rebel group signed at the beginning of this year to end more than two decades of war.

The six-year interim period as spelled out by the power, wealth, and security-sharing agreement is to be officially launched July 9. Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick is scheduled to lead a delegation to attend the event.

The draft interim constitution is supposed to be approved by then.