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Sudan slams Ugandan president visit to Juba

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Oct 22, 2006 (JUBA) — Sudanese government has slammed the Ugandan president for his visit to Juba for talks with LRA rebels saying he has to come first to Khartoum and then fly to the southern Sudan, Ugandan Daily Monitor reported.

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Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni (R) shakes hands with south Sudan’s leader Salva Kiir in Kampala August 19, 2006. (Reuters)

Just hours after the Ugandan leader ended his seven-hour official visit to Juba, Sudanese government spokesman Ali al-Sadek condemned in a tough statement the visit.

"Sudan is still one country, and any head of state coming on the Sudanese soil must first come to Khartoum, meet the President, then meet the first vice-president," Al-Sadek said in Arabic on the government-owned Radio Omdurman.

"Even then, they should have informed the government in Khartoum first, and President (Omar) al-Bashir flies to Juba to receive him.’’ He said following the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in January 2005, "the Southern Sudanese have been acting like they are already a country".

"Sudan is still one country under one president. The CPA is supposed to lead Africa’s vast country to a referendum in 2011 on possible secession from the north,’’ Al-Sadek said. Under the terms of the CPA, South Sudan will be an autonomous region in Sudan for six years, after which a referendum on independence is to be held. South Sudan has its own president, government and parliament but is not a sovereign state.

The Ugandan president visit was meant to rescue foundering peace talks between the Ugandan government and LRA rebels.

(Daliy Monitor/ST)

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