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Sudanese govt still supporting Ugandan rebels

5/21/2005 10:27am

By Frank Nyakairu, The Monitor

KAMPALA, Uganda, May 20, 2005 -- Potentially damaging accusations have emerged that the Sudanese government still supports the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) rebels. The new claims emerged at meeting of civil society groups in Juba by the head of the Anglican Church in Lomega, Rev. Paul Jugusuku.
"The Sudan government is still supporting the LRA," Rev. Jugusuku told the BBC's Network Africa adding, "Every night I have been in Juba the antonov comes and drops food and ammunition to the LRA."

The accusations come two days after the Sudan government renewed the protocol allowing Ugandan forces to operate in south Sudan to fight the LRA rebels.

The Defense and Military spokesman, Maj. Shaban Bantariza, on Tuesday said they had heard about the accusations but not through their intelligence network.

"We have heard about these reports but not through our intelligence. We shall put them before the Sudanese authorities and see what they make of them," Bantariza said.

The Sudanese envoy in Uganda, Sirajoudin Hamid Yusuf, dismissed Jugusuku's accusations as baseless.

"May be he is frustrated. May be he is giving information to affect the excellent relations between us and the government of Uganda," Sirajudin said in an interview.

"There are no Antonov planes in southern Sudan there is a ceasefire with the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) in that area, there is no credible basis of these claims," he added.

Uganda has 20 liaison officers in Jaba southern Sudan monitoring the protocol.

The new agreement was signed last Sunday in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum where Uganda's Defence Minister, Mr Amama Mbabazi led a high-ranking delegation.

Uganda backed the anti-SPLA opposed to Khartoum and Sudan backed the LRA in the early 1990s.

The first agreement allowing UPDF to enter Sudan was signed in March 2003 and has been renewed 13 times since.

The LRA, which has its major bases in southern Sudan, has been fighting the government since 1988.

Joseph Kony and four of his top commanders are being investigated by the International Criminal Court for possible crimes against humanity.

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