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Uganda says ties with Sudan better despite accusations: radio

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KHARTOUM, Sept 1 (AFP) — Relations between Uganda and Sudan have improved in general, despite Kampala’s accusation that Khartoum’s army was supporting Ugandan rebels, Sudan state radio quoted Monday a Ugandan official as saying.

"The ties between our two countries have remarkably improved," said Uganda’s Deputy Prime Minister and Refugees and Disasters Control Minister Moses Ali upon his arrival at Khartoum airport late Sunday, Omdurman radio reported.

"It was not our choice to be neighbours and, as neighbours, it is natural that we live in peace and there should be mutual confidence between us," he said.

Ali is to participate in a meeting on internally-displaced persons in the seven-member Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which groups Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda and Somalia.

Relief agencies from Canada, the United Nations and the United States, and several non-governmental organisations are to attend Tuesday’s meeting.

An expert meeting to prepare for the conference has recommended the set up of unit on displaced persons within the IGAD secretariat in Djibouti.

The Sudanese and Ugandan observers abandoned in mid-August a joint position set up to prevent cross-border rebel activities after Uganda’s accusations that Khartoum had resumed support for Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels.

Sudan last week formally protested over the Ugandan army allegations.

The LRA has been fighting since 1988 with a declared aim of replacing President Yoweri Museveni’s secular government with one based on the biblical Ten Commandments.

Kampala and Khartoum did not renew on May 31 a three-month protocol directed against LRA and Sudanese southern rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).

The protocol allowed Kampala’s forces to track down the LRA inside Sudan, while committing Uganda to ban the activities of the SPLA.

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