Uganda does not regret supporting SPLA during Sudan war, minister says
May 11, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The Ugandan government has admitted for the first time that it fully supported South Sudan’s army, SPLA, during the years of north-south civil wars in the former united Sudan.
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni
“We supported the SPLA activities as government of Uganda and we don’t regret since our efforts were not put to waste because south Sudan is now an independent state from Sudan” Uganda’s state minister of Foreign Affairs, Okello Oryem, said, as reported by the Kampala-based newspaper Red Pepper on Wednesday.
Then guerrilla army SPLA fought for more than two decades against northern governments in Khartoum until the war ended in 2005 with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) which paved the way for South Sudan’s independence in July last year.
The Ugandan minister said that his country was “proud” of its contribution to the creation of a South Sudanese state.
Khartoum has long accused Uganda of supporting SPLA, a charge Kampala was hitherto unwilling to confess to.
Similarly, Kampala recently renewed its long-standing accusations that Khartoum was supporting the notorious Ugandan rebel Lord Resistance Army (LRA).
However, Oryem said that the current dispute between Sudan and South Sudan over oil-producing region of Heglig should be resolved through negotiations.
Rankling between Khartoum and Kampala has recently flared up due to the conflict between Sudan and South Sudan around disputed border regions.
Last month, the Sudanese ministry of foreign affairs summoned the Ugandan ambassador in Khartoum against the background of statements in which the chief of the Ugandan army, Aronda Nyakairima, warned that they will intervene militarily if fighting around Heglig develops into a full-fledged war.