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Uganda refutes Sudan’s account of ICGLR meeting

March 5, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The Ugandan government has rejected Sudan’s depiction of the outcome of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) ministerial meeting which took place last week in Burundi during which Khartoum pressed its accusations against Kampala.

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Sudan said that the conference formally agreed to include its complaint against Uganda in the ICGLR report on stability and security.

In a statement sent to Sudan Tribune, the Ugandan embassy in Khartoum said that the summit rejected a request by Sudan to convene an extraordinary emergency in Khartoum "on account of Uganda’s response".

Instead, the meeting "decided to encourage the governments of the Republic of Uganda and the Republic of Sudan to bilaterally resolve the issue of negative forces in their respective countries".

Sudan’s official news agency (SUNA) quoted the foreign ministry’s acting undersecretary, Omer Sideeg, yesterday as saying that Uganda made "several failed attempts" to have Khartoum’s complaints dismissed at the ICGLR.

Sideeg also said that another ICGLR meeting will be held in Angola in July to discuss Uganda’s alleged support to Sudanese rebels.

But the Ugandan embassy described that as "factually incorrect" stressing that the upcoming meeting in Angola will address a number of issues in several member states and is not confined to the tension between Khartoum and Kampala.

The press release also noted that at the initiative of the Ugandan delegation, they held bilateral talks with Sudanese officials in Bujumbura "during which issues of concern were discussed and agreed to enhance bilateral mechanisms and demonstrate equal political will to resolve any issues".

Sudan said that its foreign ministry undersecretary Salah Wansi met with the Ugandan foreign minister as well as with the ICGLR executive secretary Alphonse Ntumba Luaba to show proof of support by Kampala to anti-Khartoum rebels.

Khartoum alleges that Kampala has become a safe harbour for Sudanese rebel leaders who are engaged in battles across the Sudanese army in several states.

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 January, 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 ICGLR.