Uganda: Khartoum Accuses Uganda of Backing Rebel Groups

Kampala — A top Sudanese diplomat has accused Uganda of undermining his country's sovereignty by allegedly supporting its various rebel groups. Ambassador Kamal Osman Ali said the Khartoum regime has petitioned both the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) over what it considers Uganda's subversive activities.

Last year's ICGLR summit, he said, discussed the Sudanese government's concerns about Uganda's involvement in its internal matters and that the OIC was also notified.

"The summit decided to forward the complaint to the ministers of defence of the ICGLR as a preliminary step to forward it once again to the summit," said Ali.

Kampala and Khartoum have, in the past, traded accusations of supporting rebel groups. Sudan government says Uganda hosts Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF), an alliance of rebel groups, an allegation Kampala dismisses.

Last month, a senior Ugandan government official accused the Sudanese government of allegedly resuming its support for the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels.

Speaking on the seemingly wary relations between the two countries, prime minister Amama Mbabazi said Uganda filed a complaint with OIC against Sudan government.

"We had hoped that we had put all this behind us, but sadly, Sudan has not stopped supporting Joseph Kony and the LRA", Mbabazi told reporters in Kampala.

"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.

The United Nations secretary-general said on Tuesday that LRA leader Kony and his army commanders were currently confined in South Sudan's border areas with Sudan and the Central African Republic (CAR).

"The LRA is currently believed to have split into several highly mobile groups operating with a significant degree of autonomy in the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo", Ban Ki moon told the UN Security Council.

The LRA, which has survived since 1987 by kidnapping and forcing children to become child soldiers, is accused of conducting serious human rights violations against civilians in the areas in which it mainly operates.

Estimates in recent years put the number of LRA fighters to be in low hundreds. But despite the mystery that surrounded Kony's whereabouts, some reports claimed he had entered the Darfur region of Sudan.

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