Khartoum denies closing borders with South Sudan, Libya

A map showing Sudan and its neighbours. GOOGLE MAP 

Khartoum has denied claims that it has closed its borders with three of its neighbours in efforts to curb weapons and vehicle smuggling.

Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour made the remarks Friday saying, instead, that the country would tighten border control with South Sudan, Libya and Chad.

Mr Ghandour said that security co-operation agreements it has with the neighbours are binding.

On Thursday, second vice president Hassabu Mohamed said Khartoum was closing its borders to stop arms from getting into the hands of Sudanese rebels who have been fighting against the President Omar Bashir's government.

"We have closed our borders with Libya, Chad and South Sudan to prevent smuggling of arms and four-wheel drive vehicles," he said.

Khartoum accuses South Sudan of providing arms and logistical support to rebels in Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile and South Kordofan. Juba denies the claims, instead blaming Sudan for supporting rebels in South Sudan.

Mr Mohamed said Khartoum had seized about 60,000 cars, particularly sports utility vehicles (SUV), believed to have been smuggled into the country from the three nations.

Khartoum also claims that young men use the country as a transit route to Libya where they intended to join the Islamist terrorist group, ISIS.

Sudan has been enforcing various reforms in effort to have the US government lift economic sanctions imposed in 1997.

The country is also on the US list of countries accused of sponsoring terrorism since 1993.

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