Sudan + 1 more

Uganda not to train Sudanese rebels: defense minister

News Article by Xinhua posted on February 28, 2003 at 00:18:49: EST (-5 GMT)

KAMPALA, Feb 27, 2003 (Xinhua) -- The government of Uganda will not train Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA) for waging war against the Sudanese government, said a top Ugandan government official on Thursday.

Defense Minister Amama Mbabazi made the remarks when he was speaking in parliament on Thursday evening in his statement to brief MPs on the security situation in northern Uganda, according to a report from Radio Uganda.

Mbabazi said the government of Uganda will not allow SPLA to train forces and also transit guns through Uganda.

He said the Ugandan government has worked tirelessly to improve relations with its neighbor, adding that he recently met Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and assured him full cooperation to phase out the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels.

Minister Mbabazi recently paid an official visit to the Sudan and delivered a message from President Yoweri Museveni to President al-Bashir.

The Sudanese government agreed recently to extend the existing protocol for Ugandan army operation in southern Sudan from Jan. 31, 2003 to May 31, 2003.

The Ugandan army launched Operation Iron Fist in southern Sudan and northern Uganda against the LRA rebels in March last year with the support from the Sudanese government.