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Saturday, 12 May, 2001, 16:27 GMT 17:27 UK
Uganda 'ready' for Sudan ties
Yoweri Museveni
President Museveni follows Libyan leader's advice

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has been sworn in for a final five-year term with an announcement that he is ready to restore diplomatic relations with neighbouring Sudan.

After taking the oath, Mr Museveni told the crowds that had gathered at the Kololo airstrip on the outskirts of the capital, Kampala, that he was prepared to re-establish contacts at a chargé d'affaires level, and move towards implementing the 1999 peace deal with Sudan.

Recently Colonel Gaddafi advised that we can renew our relationship, and I agreed to invite [Sudanese President] Omar al-Bashir to the celebrations

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President Museveni said that in doing so he was following the advice of Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi.

Similarly Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is said to have attended the Ugandan inauguration celebrations in Kampala on the advice of Colonel Gaddafi.

The Libyan leader has been trying to broker peace between the two countries, which broke off relations in 1994.

Mutual recriminations

Uganda accuses Sudan of sheltering rebels who are opposed to President Museveni and abduct children to serve among their ranks.

Colonel Moammar Gaddafi
Gaddafi: Peace broker
Sudan charges Uganda with supporting southern rebels fighting for autonomy from the Islamist government in Khartoum.

Under the mediation of former US President Jimmy Carter both countries signed a peace agreement in 1999.

The deal proposed the establishment of demilitarised zones in places where rebels have been operating. It was never implemented.

Before travelling to President's Museveni's inaugural ceremony Colonel Gaddafi visited Sudan to further his peace initiative.

No expiry date

President Museveni first came to power at the head of a guerrilla army in 1986. His movement was supplied with weapons and training by Colonel Gaddafi.

Mr Museveni was elected to his first term in 1996, and re-elected by an overwhelming majority in March this year, amid accusations of vote rigging and intimidation.

The constitution bars him from running again in 2006, but Ugandan press reports say Colonel Gaddafi has advised him to shun elections all together.

"Revolutionary leaders should not have expiry dates like canned drinks," he is quoted as saying.

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See also:

21 Apr 01 | Africa
Uganda poll challenge fails
15 Mar 01 | Africa
Uganda: A democratic future?
08 Dec 99 | Africa
Sudan and Uganda to tackle rebels
10 May 01 | Africa
Timeline: Uganda
10 May 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Uganda
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