August 27, 2008

Al-Jazeera TV Interviews Sudanese Rebel Movement’s Advisor on Plane Hijacking

Text of report by Qatari government-funded, pan-Arab news channel Al-Jazeera satellite TV on 26 August

[Unidentified Al Jazeera announcer] Well, we're going back to one of our developing stories now, and the hijacking of a plane in Sudan. The passenger plane had taken off from Darfur and was on its way to the capital Khartoum when it was hijacked. It's now on the ground in Libya and we have reports the hijackers want to refuel and take off for France. We have very little information on who the hijackers are but senior members of a Darfur former rebel movement, the Sudan Liberation Movement, are believed to be on board. Well, joining me now on the line is Abd-al-Aziz Uthman, an adviser to the Sudanese Liberation Movement. Thank you very much for joining us on the line, Sir. What's your understanding of who's behind the hijacking.

[Uthman] We hear two hours ago that a plane coming from Nyala to Khartoum was hijacked by people from Nyala anyway. And on board this plane three or [pauses] - a minimum three of our leaders, [words indistinct] Rahman, he's the president of Darfur Land Commission and also a member of the TDRA, the Darfur Authority, Muhammad [words indistinct], and also King Al-Malik [words indistinct] also has been onboard, they have been in Nyala for four days, have been involved in a workshop in Land Commission.

[Announcer] Now -

[Uthman, continues] They are onboard on this plane anyway, and the plane has now landed safely in Kufrah airport, Libya.

[Announcer] What do you think the exact motive was then if the hijackers are targeting three former members or three former Darfur rebel leaders that were on this plane, what do you think the motive is?

[Uthman] No, no, nobody knows those who committed this hijacking, but our people hijacked onboard the plane are [words indistinct] passengers, they are not targeting them namely, but the plane is the target of the hijacking. I think that they are going [words indistinct], we hear from our national media.

[Announcer] Well, of course it's still a developing situation there. For the moment, Abd-al-Aziz Uthman, thank you very much for joining us from Khartoum.

Originally published by Al-Jazeera TV, Doha, in Arabic 1846 26 Aug 08.

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