October 12, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni, discussed with his Sudanese counterpart bilateral relations between the two countries and pledged to not support Sudanese rebels groups, said foreign minister Ali Karti on Saturday.
- President of Uganda Yoweri K Museveni in 2005 (AP Photo/Martin Cleaver)
Kampala and Khartoum trade accusations of supporting rebel groups. Ugandan officials say Sudan supports the notorious Lord Resistance Army (LRA) rebel group of Joseph Koni. On the other hand, Sudanese government says rebels of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) are hosted and trained in Uganda.
Bashir and Museveni held a lengthy meeting for the first time since more than three years on the sidelines of a special summit of the African head of states and governments in Addis Ababa on Saturday.
Karti said in a statement to the official news agency SUNA that the meeting, which was held at the request of the Ugandan government, discussed bilateral relations, adding that "Museveni stressed his country’s strong commitment not to support the Sudanese opposition".
The Sudanese foreign ministry further said that during the "friendly and frank meeting", Bashir provided Museveni with strong information stressing that Ugandan president seemed more responsive than past times.
"Museveni is now convinced that there is a problem that must be solved", he concluded .
Ten days after the signing of the New Dawn charter between Sudanese rebel and opposition groups in the Ugandan capital on 6 January 2013, Khartoum filed three complaints against Kampala with the African Union (AU), Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR).
In May of this year, despite the officials denial of support to the SRF groups, reports from Kampala said that security authorities there asked rebel groups to be more discreet in their meetings and to not mention the location.
Last week, Kampala expelled a Sudanese diplomat over spying activities.
In 2012, the two countries held several meetings to discuss issues of rebel groups and ways to ease strained relations but no real progress achieved on this regard.