March 17, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese government is working with forces in Uganda that are opposed to president Yoweri Museveni to bring about "positive political influence", the speaker of the country’s national assembly Ahmed Ibrahim al-Tahir said today.
- Sudanese Parliament speaker Ahmed Ibrahim al-Tahir (ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP/Getty Images)
Al-Tahir did not provide any details on Khartoum’s efforts in this regard but his remarks signal a new stage in the already-sour relations between Sudan and Uganda.
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 has 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”.
Sudanese officials have also suggested that they may ask some of the staff at the Ugandan embassy to leave the country in retaliation.
In a separate issue al-Tahir said that he is consulting with Bashir, defense minister, and intelligence director regarding a possible general but conditional amnesty to rebel groups.
He vowed to receive those who put down their arms in a good manner and integrate them in political or military institutions.
"We want to rid them of the leadership that is taking them to [the path] war and destruction and adopting agendas that does not belong to them" the speaker said.
A number of rebel groups have formed what is known as the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) which includes movements from Darfur as well as the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) that is fighting Khartoum in Blue Nile and South Kordofan.