Uganda is keeping an eye on the unfolding developments in Sudan following the overthrow and arrest of President Omar al-Bashir by order of the country’s new military governing council, a senior official said Tuesday.
“We are monitoring the situation in Sudan and hope that the Sudanese people will determine the future of their country,” said Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (International Affairs) Hon. Henry Okello Oryem, at a press conference in Kampala.
“We will respect in whatever form of government that they fully desire and that they will get. What is important for the government of Uganda is the resolution of the situation as long as it is peaceful for Sudan and their neighbors. And we hope that Sudan will continue being intact as one country and Sudan will not fall apart because of the problems,” he added.
Protests erupted nearly four months ago when the Government attempted to raise the prices of bread and basic commodities.
The United Nations recently said the “Democratic aspirations of the Sudanese people” need to be realized through “an appropriate and inclusive transition process”, following the overthrow and arrest of President Omar al-Bashir by order of the country’s new military governing council.
Asked whether Uganda is willing to offer Bashir Asylum, Oryem opined that considering the role he played in revamping the South Sudan peace settlement, he surely deserves so.
“If President Omar el Bashir applies for asylum in Uganda, it is a matter that can be considered by the President of Uganda. President Bashir was a core guarantor for the peace agreement in South Sudan. He played a very big role for which we have to give him credit for,” he said.
Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee Chairperson Hon. Hood Katuramu, said that it was imperative for Uganda to ensure that peace prevails in Sudan.
Katuramu says Sudan is one of Uganda’s key partners and as such should not be abandoned.
Statistics indicate that Sudan imports 20% of Uganda coffee and is the single biggest export market for the product from which about $100m is earned.
President Museveni told the Uganda-Sudan Business Forum in 2017 that the Government of Uganda is “finalizing efforts to revitalize Uganda Airlines and once operationalised, Khartoum will be one of the Airline’s first destinations.”
Commenting about the Uganda-Rwanda relations, Oryem said as for Uganda her borders remain open to everyone and will remain so.
As such, he said Rwandans of all walks of life were free to access the country without any hindrances. Rwanda has since blocked its people from traveling to Uganda, citing possible persecution, a claim Uganda denies.
Oryem called for patience, saying the bilateral challenges will be solved through diplomatic channels.