February 4, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese government voiced its objection to Uganda’s election to a senior position at Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) during its ministerial meeting in Cairo, Sudan state media reported.
- Secretary-general of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu (L) talks with Egyptian foreign affairs minister Mohamed Kamel Amr during a meeting ahead of the OIC summit in Cairo (Getty Images)
Egypt was elected as president of the OIC commission’s office with Palestine, Pakistan and Uganda named as members and Senegal as rapporteur.
Sudan’s representative at the OIC, Abdel-Hafiz Ibrahim, who is also its ambassador in Saudi Arabia, said in remarks at the meeting that his country made its views known in writing on Uganda’s ascension to the high-level position, calling it a violation of the organisation’s charter.
Ibrahim asked that Sudan’s reservations be included as part of the meeting’s minutes.
Khartoum and Kampala have a long history of troubled relations over alleged support to rebel groups on both sides of their borders.
Kampala says that Khartoum is providing support and refuge to the notorious Ugandan rebels Lord Resistance Army (LRA) even after South Sudan’s secession created a buffer zone between Sudan and Uganda.
Khartoum on the other hand says that Kampala has become a safe harbour for Sudanese rebel leaders. A recent report published on US news website McClatchy by Alan Boswell speaks of seeing munitions crates carrying the tag of the Ugandan ministry of defence in the hands of the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) in South Kordofan.
Last month, Sudanese opposition parties and rebel groups signed a charter in Kampala, putting their stated goal to topple the Khartoum government via different political and military means.
This triggered Sudan to lodge three complaints against Uganda with the African Union (AU), Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR).
However, Uganda’s foreign affairs state minister, Henry Okello Oryem, dismissed the allegations at the time, calling it “the usual Sudanese rubbish”.
Cairo will be hosting leaders from 56 countries which make up the OIC at the summit which is due to start on Wednesday.
About 26 heads of state from OIC member countries, including Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir, have confirmed their participation in the summit.