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[Dehai-WN] Newvision.co.ug: Uganda: Country Rubbishes Sudan Rebel Claims

From: Berhane Habtemariam <Berhane.Habtemariam_at_gmx.de_at_dehai.org>
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2012 23:22:23 +0100

Uganda: Country Rubbishes Sudan Rebel Claims

By Henry Mukasa and Mary Karugaba, 14 March 2012

The government has denied claims by Khartoum that Kampala supports rebels
fighting the Sudan government of President Omar Bashir.

Bashir's advisor, Mustafa Osman Ismail, warned on Monday that his country
was running out of patience with Uganda over their alleged support to rebel
groups fighting Khartoum.

Mustafa also claimed that the new break-away state of South Sudan backed
rebel groups in different parts of the country fighting to overthrow his
senior's regime.

However, International Relations minister Henry Okello Oryem described the
claims as "rubbish."

"We have no intention to incite, encourage or support rebels to overthrow
the government of Khartoum," Oryem said on Tuesday.

"Uganda is law-abiding and works within the spirit of the charter of the
African Union and therefore cannot be involved in what is alleged," he

Khartoum has also persistently accused the newly established state of South
Sudan of backing the Sudan People's Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) and
several Darfur rebel groups that joined last year to form the Sudan
Revolutionary Front (SRF).

Sudanese officials also claim that Uganda is hosting a number of senior
Darfur rebel groups.

However, minister Oryem observed that if Khartoum has domestic challenges,
it should find ways of addressing them other than using Uganda as a

"We are not harboring or supporting Darfur rebels," he emphasized.

Foreign Affairs permanent secretary Amb. James Mugume, wondered why Khartoum
had persistently raised the allegations yet the two governments had
previously discussed the matter in Kampala.

"They [Khartoum] came up with fictitious names of people being trained here
in Kampala. We discussed the matter with Amb. Ismail and the technical team.
After the meeting, we asked them to provide data and substantiate the
allegations. We are still waiting," Mugume explained.

Mugume said Uganda is not training any rebel groups and is not about to do
so because the move is against the 2006 Great Lakes Conference Pact on
peace, stability and development.

Under the pact, Great Lakes member countries committed themselves not to
support rebels from a neighboring country.

The pact also criminalizes citizens who support rebel activities in other
member states.

The Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) have been battling multiple insurgencies in
South Kordofan and Blue Nile since last year. All attempts by African Union
mediators to broker a ceasefire have failed.

United Nations officials say more than 410,000 people have been displaced by
the fighting. They also warned that famine may be forthcoming unless
Khartoum allows aid groups in the two states.

Sudan has rejected any plans for an aid corridor without involvement by its
government organisations, saying that supplies could go to SPLM-N rebels.

According to the Sudan Tribune, Ismail said that the Salva Kiir-led South
Sudan is using its new status as an independent state as well as its oil
wealth to wage war against Sudan.

"Those at the top in the state of South [Sudan] want to destabilize Sudan,"
Ismail was quoted as saying by state media.

He stressed that Khartoum will not stand idle while Kampala and Juba
continue to backing rebels.

The presidential advisor said last month that all options are on the table,
including military ones in response to South Sudan's "aggression".


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Received on Wed Mar 14 2012 - 18:22:47 EDT
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