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Sudan denounces UN claims LRA leader is present in its territory

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May 14, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese government has denounced claims made by the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, that the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) Joseph Kony is currently present in Sudan’s Kafia Kingi enclave.

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LRA leader Joseph Kony and his fighters (Getty)

Last week, Ban Ki-moon said that Kony and his army commanders are currently confined in South Sudan’s border areas with Sudan and the Central African Republic (CAR).

"However, credible sources suggest LRA leader Joseph Kony and senior LRA commanders have recently returned to seek safe haven in Sudanese-controlled areas of the enclave," Ban told the UN Security Council (UNSC).

In a statement on Wednesday, Sudan’s foreign ministry underscored the country’s commitment to fight against the LRA since the signing of the agreement with Uganda which allowed the latter to pursue Kony’s troops inside Sudanese territories in 2002.

It added that Sudan is taking part in regional initiatives aimed at fighting the LRA, noting that Khartoum is currently holding observer status following independence of South Sudan and seeks to exchange information with Uganda.

The statement denounced Ban Ki-moon accusation, saying his report neither verified accuracy of the information nor mentioned its source, renewing readiness to seriously deal with any reliable information about existence of LRA troops in Sudan’s territory.

The foreign ministry further called upon African Union Commission (AUC) and African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) to play their role in verifying existence of LRA troops in Sudan in accordance with the mechanisms and measures agreed upon.

Last month, a senior Ugandan government official accused the Sudanese government of allegedly resuming its support for the notorious rebel group.

Speaking on the seemingly wary relations between the two countries, Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi said Uganda has filed a complaint with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) about Sudan’s alleged support for LRA.

“We had hoped that we had put all this behind us, but sadly, Sudan has not stopped supporting Joseph Kony and the LRA,” Mbabazi said.

“Sudan accused us of supporting rebellion in their country, which I denied. The OIC has taken note of our complaints and it has expressed willingness to mediate”, he added.

Kampala and Khartoum have, in the past, traded accusations of supporting rebel groups. Sudan government says Uganda hosts Sudanese Revolutionary Front rebels.

(ST)

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