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Sudanese FM stresses need to force out Uganda’S anti-gov. group from southern Sudan

8/25/2005 10:08pm

Aug 25, 2005 (Khartoum) — Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Othman Ismail here Thursday stressed the need to force out the anti-government Ugandan Lord Resistance Army (LRA) from southern Sudan, reported the official SUNA news agency.
He noted that the Sudanese and Ugandan governments had signed an agreement to end the hostile activities between Uganda’s LRA rebels and Kampala troops in southern Sudan, which have intensified recently.

Kampala and Khartoum signed an agreement in 2002 to allow the Ugandan government troops to launch cross-border operations against the notorious LRA, which has several bases in southern Sudan under the then rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) led by John Garang.

Ismail uncovered a vision to be crystallized soon to handle the existence of the southern Sudan-based LRA, said SUNA.

According to SUNA, Ismail also expressed his happiness on Sudanese First-Vice President Salva Kiir Mayardit’s warning to LRA to leave the south or to seek a peaceful solution with the Ugandan government.

The SPLM chaired by Kiir has become responsible for a large part of southern Sudan’s security, Ismail praised.

Kiir suggested Wednesday three choices for the LRA to resolve the conflict — by seeking a peaceful solution with the Ugandan government, getting out of southern Sudan or facing a military forcing out.

Ismail said that "we have to encourage a peaceful solution to the issue but if it does not happen then no place for the LRA in the Sudanese land."

As the newly chosen SPLM chairman, Kiir was sworn in on Aug. 11 as Sudan’s first vice president and southern Sudan’s president to replace his predecessor Garang who died in a helicopter crash in southern Sudan on his way back from Uganda on July 30.

Garang was sworn in as Sudan’s first vice president on July 9 after reaching the comprehensive peace deal with Khartoum earlier 2005, ending 21 years of civil war that killed more than two million people in the country.

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