10 February 2013

Sudan May Ask Uganda to Reduce Its Diplomatic Staff in Khartoum

Khartoum — The Sudanese government may soon ask Kampala to slash the diplomatic staff at its embassy in Khartoum, an official with the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) said today.

The NCP spokesperson Badr al-Deen Ibrahim said that Uganda is now classified as an enemy state adding that they have no mutual interests with Kampala.

Ibrahim said that Uganda is not home to a large number of Sudanese and as such any move to downgrade diplomatic relations would not impact their citizens living there.

"Even if a community of Sudanese exists [in Uganda] their status will be arranged in accordance with diplomatic norms," the NCP official said.

The ties between the two countries have reached a low point particularly after several Sudanese opposition parties and rebel groups signed a joint charter in Kampala last month calling for the overthrow of the Khartoum government.

Sudan has lodged complaints with several regional organisations to protest against Uganda's hosting of anti-Khartoum groups.

This month Sudan voiced its objection to electing Uganda to a position at the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) commission office during a summit in Cairo.

Ugandan officials on the other hand continue to accuse Sudan of harbouring the notorious Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebel group, which has been forced out of northern Uganda.

Some reports have claimed that the Sudanese government continue to back the group, which it used a proxy to fight southern rebels in the civil war that led to South Sudan's independence.

During the conflict Uganda was a strong ally of the former southern rebels who have governed the Republic of South South since 2011.

Uganda's president, Yoweri Museveni, has infuriated Sudanese officials in the past for his public support to South Sudan's independence and his views that Arab Muslims in Sudan are suppressing Africans in the country.

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