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Relations between Sudan and Lebanon turn sour.

Tensions have erupted between Lebanon and Sudan after a number of Sudanese refugees in Beirut were attacked by Lebanese General Security (GS) on June 6, according to the pan-Arab daily ASHARQ AL AWSAT Wednesday. Earlier this month, at the time of the attack, Sudanese refugees in Lebanon were holding a cancer fundraising event in the area of Ouzai in Beirut when a unit from the GS broke into the place where they were gathering. Sudanese media reported eye witnesses as saying that heavily armed Lebanese police broke into the place of the gathering and started beating the attendants with batons calling them names such as "animals" and "niggers". Sudanese citizens were taken to the police station and those with legal residency were released afterwards. Some eyewitnesses said that some Lebanese living in Ouzai where the cancer fundraising was taking place, intervened and tried to protect the Sudanese from the GS officers, according to Sudanese media.

As a reaction to what happened, Sudanese discussion boards organized campaigns calling for boycotting Lebanese businesses in Sudan and a petition is being generated demanding an investigation and an apology.

Head of the Lebanese general security, Wafiq Jazini, dismissed claims that the GS used force against the Sudanese refugees in Ouzai. He was quoted by Sudanese media as saying that the Sudanese refugees attempted to escape and described accounts saying otherwise as "lies". Jazini said that only those who were in Lebanon illegally have been detained. The Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs is still waiting for a complete investigations regarding what happened in Ouzai before apologizing to Sudanese authorities, ASHARQ AL AWSAT reported.
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Title Annotation:LEBANON-SUDAN
Publication:The Daily Middle East Reporter (Beirut, Lebanon)
Date:Jun 23, 2010
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