By Sudan Tribune,
THE African Union (AU) commented for the first time on reports that AU Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was a target of an assassination plot that was orchestrated by Sudan.
This came in a statement issued by Zuma’s spokesperson Jacob Enoh Eben on Wednesday who said that her office is fully aware of the purported assassination plot.
“The AU Commission is assuring the public that the Chairperson is safe and sound. Since assuming her current responsibilities in October 2012, Dr. Dlamini Zuma has been providing excellent leadership in steering the demanding, but very important work of the Commission in ensuring an integrated, prosperous and peaceful African continent, with the full support of all AU Member states,” the statement reads.
“The AU Commission equally acknowledges and commends the excellent work of National Intelligence and Security Services of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, host of the African Union Headquarters, in ensuring security and safety of the AU Commission Chairperson, the leadership of the Union as well as various diplomatic representations related to the AU”
“And where and whenever necessary, there has been very good cooperation and collaboration with the Governments, whether of the Republic of South Africa, as stated in the reports, or any other AU Member States. The leadership of the AU is most grateful”.
The content of the cables published by the Guardian newspaper and al-Jazeera TV say that South African intelligence received information on the plot and relayed it to their station chief in Addis Ababa who got in touch with Ethiopian authorities to brief them on the imminent threat to the AU official.
The two sides agreed to beef up Zuma’s security detail as South African military intelligence General T. Nyembe told his colleagues that “an unnamed state” was behind the plot and warned that there had been “another alert which further pointed out a potential assassination plot… to be carried out at a different venue.”
At a meeting between security officials from Ethiopia and South Africa saw a revelation that Sudan is behind the plot. The Guardian and Al-Jazeera give conflicting accounts of who pointed fingers at Khartoum or supplied the list of people believed to be the ones behind the plot.
The Spy Cables report that the director of Ethiopia’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) Hadera Abera, explained that they crosschecked the names of the plotters with “all entry points especially those bordering Sudan” but found no matches.
Another secret document showed Abera saying that in his service’s assessment, Sudan “would not carry out such operations” as it had “paid dearly in the attempted assassination of Egypt former President [Hosni] Mubarak” in 1995.
But government sources in Khartoum speaking to Sudan Tribune on Wednesday said that the report appears to be “clearly fabricated” and “unbelievable for any sound mind”.
The sources posed the question “Each crime has a strong motive, what is Sudan’s motive for assassinating this woman?”
They expressed amazement that the South African government and Mrs. Zuma herself remained silent all this time and never raised this issue if it was true.
“We believe these are fabricated reports and hastily written and without thought by circles that care only to tarnish Sudan’s reputation”.