Sudan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Karti has described the meeting of President Omer Al-Bashir with his Ugandan counterpart President Yoweri Museveni as ‘friendly and frank’.
According to the minister who spoke to a Sudanese News Agency, Sudanese President Al- Bashir introduced what he called ‘very strong information’ and President Museveni responded to it.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and his Sudanese counterpart Omar El Bashir met on Saturday on the sidelines of the extraordinary session of the Assembly of the African Union in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
Karti added that Museveni’s response to the issues presented by Bashir was better than the previous times and according to the minister Museveni seemed to have been convinced that there is a problem that must be solved.
“I do not think that we are now in a position that we can say there is a solution to the problem, but in my opinion there is progress in the understanding of the Ugandan President to the seriousness of the request of Sudan and the information put forward by the President of Republic.” Karti said.
Uganda – Sudan Relations
Museveni’s meeting with Bashir came as good news to the two countries who enjoy tense relations with accusations and counter accusations from both sides.
Uganda on one hand accuses the Khartoum regime of supporting elusive rebel group, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) leader Joseph Kony. Kony who is also ironically wanted by the ICC is responsible for the death and suffering of many Ugandans in the north and east of the country resulting from his 20 year rebellion.
Kony’s rebel group is believed to be operating in South Sudan’s Western Equatoria and neighbouring countries of Congo and Central African Republic.
In 2011, Last May Museveni said they have intelligence that LRA rebels were planning a major offensive and warned Sudan over reports saying they received weapons from Sudan.
Sudan denies this allegation even though it admitted in the past to using the LRA rebels to fight the insurgency in southern Sudan before the signing of a peace agreement in January 2005 with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) which was supported by the Ugandan government.
The SPLM are now the governing party of South Sudan, which seceded from Sudan in July 2011.
Sudan on the other hand also accuses Uganda of supporting rebels whose intention is to overthrow Bashir.
The Sudanese government was infuriated this year after rebel forces and opposition groups signed an accord in Kampala last January calling for toppling the regime of president Omer Hassan al-Bashir.
This prompted Khartoum to lodge several complaints with the African Union (AU) and other regional blocs against Kampala saying the latter is supporting regime change in Sudan.
However, Uganda’s foreign affairs state minister Henry Okello Oryem dismissed the allegations at the time, calling it “the usual Sudanese rubbish”.
In March this year, the speaker of the Sudan’s national assembly Ahmed Ibrahim al-Tahir revealed that the country was working with forces in Uganda that are opposed to president Yoweri Museveni to bring about “positive political influence” in what many saw as a response to the move by ‘rebel forces and opposition groups’ accord.
These tense relations were heightened by the recent expulsion from Uganda of a Sudanese diplomat who the Kampala regime accused of spying.
The meeting of the two leaders was the latest in a series of interactions aimed at improving relations between the two countries and many will be hoping that it can bear fruit.