Friday, March 27, 2009

Sudan: UFO's dropping bombs sighted over Port Sudan

Breaking News March 26, 2009
UFO’s bomb and strafe convoy near Port Sudan killing hundreds!

Look, everybody needs to back up for a minute and take a deep breadth.

Al Jazeera News reported yesterday that in January 2009 U.S. fighter jets attacked and destroyed a vehicle convoy outside of Port Sudan that was allegedly transporting weapons and munitions to Hamas fighters in Gaza. The facts are still unclear but the original news story broke at the CBS News World Watch blog on Wednesday. The Times of London ran a different story reporting that the attack was carried out by the IAF (Israeli Air Force). Al Jazeera reports that the Transportation Minister for the Government of Sudan confirmed that two airstrikes killed several people and inured 50, but that the Sudanese Foreign Minister Deng Alor claims he had no prior knowledge of any such attacks on a convoy smuggling weapons and munitions to Hamas via routes through Sudan into Egypt. The Times story updated on March 27th goes into more detail based on their sources and research. I have no idea how the story is playing out in the blogosphere, but to be honest I’m afraid to look.

Updates on the story less than 24 hours later:

Al Jazeera News – English
Jets 'bombed convoy in Sudan' 03/27/09
Note: the words “U.S. Jets” was dropped from the original headline of March 26th and the story has been updated (edited)
Al Jazeera News Channel at YouTube (video)
Note: see Al Jazeera MOBILE BULLETIN (video) - 0535GMT - 27 March 09

CBS News (USA)
Sudan Says Foreign Airstrikes Hit Weapons Convoy (AP) 03/26/09

CBS News World Watch blog
U.S. Accused Of Killing 39 In Sudan Strike by Dan Raviv 03/25/09
Note: this blog post at CBS News was the original breaking news story about the alleged U.S./Israeli air raid on the arms convoy in Sudan

The New York Times (USA)
The Lede (the New York Times news blog)
The Sudan Airstrike Mystery by Robert Mackey 03/26/09

The Boston Globe (USA)
US officials say Israeli jets hit convoy of trucks in Sudan 03/27/09

The Times Online (UK)
Israel suspected of bombing Sudan arms convoy headed for Gaza 03/27/09

SKY News (UK)
Israel Accused Of Launching Long-Distance Air Strike In Sudan During War In Gaza (text and video) 03/26/09

The Arabist (Cairo, Egypt)
Reuters confirms Sudan air strike 03/26/09
al-Shorouk’s story on secret Sudan raids 03/25/09
Al Shorouk news article on the air raid bombing in Sudan (Arabic) 03/25/09

The Sudanese Thinker (Singapore)
US and Israel Accused of Conducting Bombing Air Strikes within Sudan 03/26/09
Note: see my comment under the name Bill_BRE

VOA News (Voice of America news online)
AFRICOM: No US Military Role Against Sudan's Bashir 03/25/09

United States Africa Command (AFRICOM)
AFRICOM Dialogue - official blog and news website of the U.S. Africa Command

It makes one wonder what exactly was being discussed this week in Cairo during the meeting between Egypt’s President Mubarak and Sudan’s President al-Bashir, the ICC arrest warrant or UFO’s dropping bombs over Sudan?

This is the kind of 'unconfirmed facts reporting' that can cause more violence to break out in a land that is already on the brink. I’d be interested in learning how the Sudanese state-run press and TV/radio news media is playing up the incident. Anybody out there have information about those reports?

The Pentagon via a spokesman for the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) was quick to refute the Al Jazeera report from March 26th, denying any involvement of U.S. aircraft or forces in the incident. This was followed by statements from Ambassador Mary Yates, the Deputy to the Commander of AFRICOM (General William E. Ward), in her meeting on Wednesday with African Union Commission Chairman Jean Ping and the AU Peace and Security Commissioner Ramtane Ramamra. Ambassador Yates made clear to the AU heads that there is no U.S. military role (at the moment) involving the ICC arrest warrant for Sudan President Omar Hassan al-Bashir (VOA News).

So again, everybody should back up a bit and make sure that we have the facts right about serious matters like this before we publish to our blogs, news websites, or whatever. That goes for blog authors and budding citizen journalists, and the journalists, anchors, and editors over at Al Jazeera and other mainstream news organizations. We don’t need to throw any more fuel on the fire that is already burning red hot around the National Congress Party (NCP) in Khartoum. Because at the end of the day, dancing in the streets wearing native headresses and brandishing spears and swords won't help you Omar Hassan al-Bashir.

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