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Aid, don't blockade, Sudan

Having spent time working in a United Nations refugee camp in Sudan during the Ethiopian famine of 1985, I read the opinion-page article ``What the US Can Do in Sudan,'' March 14, with interest.

Before contemplating an American solution based on blockades and embargoes, attention should be paid to regional history. Have we forgotten that East-West superpower politics were more important when the CIA and our government overtly and covertly supported the Ethiopian rebels and the Sudanese government in 1985? ``We'' were then more concerned about Marxism than famine and turned a blind eye to some of the ongoing atrocities suffered by the Southern Sudanese at the hands of the ruling North. Now the great Soviet threat has been replaced regionally by Iran and Libya. A concerted effort should be aimed at dialogue instead of escalation via blockades and threats.

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I agree that the region needs a dramatic shift of focus. The so-called Islamic regime in Sudan is acting in an immoral manner that should be condemned by Muslims and Christians alike. I would suggest that foreign funds be spent on food and education, not on bombs and ideological power plays. Patrick Farrell, Huntington Beach, Calif.

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