AMMAN, Jordan — The leader of Sudan's ruling military junta said today that his government will put on trial officials who took part in the airlift of several thousand Falashas, Ethiopian Jews, to Israel.
Gen. Abdul-Rahman Suwar Dahab, whose junta overthrew President Jaafar Numeiri in a bloodless coup earlier this month, made the announcement in an interview with the Arabic daily Jordan Times.
In the airlift, carried out mainly late last year, several thousand Falashas were secretly taken out of Ethiopia to Israel by way of Sudan, but the airlift was ended in early January after receiving wide publicity.
Ethiopia condemned the transfer and charged its Muslim neighbor, Sudan, and other unidentified foreign powers with "forcing and enticing" the black Jews to leave the country in the "sinister operation."
Sudan under Numeiri denied it had played any role in the airlift.
Claims were made shortly after the April 6 coup in Khartoum that Numeiri and his vice president, Omar Tajeb, received $10,000 for each Ethiopian Jew smuggled through Sudan to Israel in the airlift, which the Israelis dubbed "Operation Moses."