July 24, 2012 (WASHINGTON) - Sudan has strongly warned the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) against including the issue of Ugandan Lords Resistance Army in a resolution under preparation to renew the mandate of the United Nations African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).
- An LRA rebel keep vigil at Ri-kwangba near Garamba forest April 10, 2008. (Getty)
Sudan’s UN ambassador, Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman was speaking to the UNSC after a briefing from the UNAMID chief Ibrahim Gambari as the Council is expected to adopt a new resolution renewing the mission’s mandate for another year.
As the UNAMID mandate is due to expire on 31 July, a draft resolution on the issue is circulating and members of the UNSC can propose to add or to discard some of the considerations of the resolution for renewing the hybrid operation.
After reiterating Sudan’s commitment to implementing the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur, Daffa-Alla blamed the draft resolution for not taking into account the different positive aspects achieved in the region since the signing of the agreement and mentioned by the UN Secretary General in his report.
He also wondered about the silence in the UNSC draft resolution regarding the rebels who have refused to join the peace negotiations and their statement to the chief mediator that they want to topple the Khartoum government together with another rebel group, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement - North (SPLM-N), in South Kordofan . Gambari met with Darfur rebels in April and May of this year.
The Sudanese diplomat went further to reject the inclusion of the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in the draft resolution and strongly warned against such development saying it would hamper Sudan’s cooperation with the UNAMID.
He underlined that the UNAMID mandate is limited only to protect civilians and bring peace in Darfur while the LRA is undertaking a rebellion in Uganda, which has no common border with Sudan, he underscored.
"Including this issue is going to be an impediment and cause of refusal, which may affect our cooperation with UNAMID and its actions in Darfur. If we truly wish to establish peace, stability and security then let us discard this issue far away from Darfur and UNAMID," he further said.
In 2010 the Washington based Enough Project and the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said LRA rebel leader, Joseph Kony, was in Darfur after being in South Sudan and neighbouring Central African Republic.
The Sudanese army, during its war against South Sudanese rebels who were backed by the Ugandan government, supported the LRA rebels in their conflict with Kampala and used them to fight a proxy war against the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) rebels.
After the signing of 2005 peace agreement, the Sudanese government denied harbouring the Ugandan rebel leader who is wanted by the International Criminal Court. The fugitive LRA leader has been on the run since December 2008 when regional states launched a hunt to apprehend him after he refused to sign a peace deal with Kampala.
The Sudanese ambassador told to the UN that the Council that there are no credible grounds to mix the issue of the LRA and the hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur.
"Those who support that position will be responsible for the consequences stemming there from," he stressed without elaborating about countries who proposed to add this issue in the considerations of the upcoming resolution.
However, he said that the Government of Sudan vigorously condemns the LRA and expressed Khartoum’s readiness to cooperate with all the members of the international community in order to put an end to the action of the rebel group.
Sudan currently accuses the Ugandan government of harbouring Darfur rebel groups and supporting them with military and logistical means.
Delegations from the two governments held a series of meetings in Kampala and Khartoum in 2011. Following a meeting on 15 August 2011, the two countries agreed that the Darfur groups and the LRA are "negative elements threatening security and stability in the whole region".
Nonetheless, the two capital did not achieve any progress on this regard. Kampala and Khartoum reportedly failed to agree on how to end the presence of the rebel groups in both countries.