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WASHINGTON — The security contractor Blackwater Worldwide tried for two years to secure lucrative defense business in Southern Sudan while the country was under U.S. economic sanctions, according to current and former U.S. officials and hundreds of pages of documents reviewed by McClatchy .
The effort to drum up new business in East Africa by Blackwater owner Erik Prince , a former Navy SEAL who had close ties with top officials in the George W. Bush White House and the CIA , became a major element in a continuing four-year federal investigation into allegations of sanctions violations, i