Uganda is playing with fire if it puts foot in Sudan, South crisis
By Hassan Islow & Richard Wanambwa
Countries threatening to intervene if Sudan invades South Sudan are playing with fire and risk getting burnt, Sudan’s ambassador to South Africa has warned
‘‘You know countries that make such meaningless statements are playing with fire. Sudan is a sovereign country and does not accept such threats from other countries,’’ Dr Ali Yousif Ahmed Alsharif said on Tuesday while speaking on Channel Islam international radio in Johannesburg. But Army and Defence spokesperson Col. Felix Kulayigye, yesterday reaffirmed the army commander, Gen. Aronda Nyakairima’s, position that Uganda cannot sit by and watch the two countries fight each other.
Col. Kulayigye said Uganda was still interested in dialogue and its participation was at the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development.
He also said the long relationship between Uganda and South Sudan is historic.
“We have a stake in the stability of Sudan, especially South Sudan. But dialogue is still the first and we still have confidence since both countries, are friendly to Uganda,” Col. Kulayigye said.
He added: “We are members of IGAD but when the option of dialogue fails, we shall not sit and watch. South Sudan neighbours northern Uganda and is our ally.”
Last week, Gen. Nyakairima said Uganda would get involved in the conflict if Sudan attempted to attack the South.
However, Sudan’s diplomat insists that it is wrong for regional countries to threaten Sudan after their territory, Heglig, had been attacked and their sovereignty violated.
Dr Alsharif said Sudan considers South Sudan as a neighbour.
‘‘South Sudan should stop listening to foreign powers that instigate them into waging a war with Sudan. When there was civil war in the south several years ago, southerners did not go to Uganda or Kenya, but instead came to live in the north because they felt safer,’’ he said.
He also said South Sudan had violated a non-aggression agreement reached with Sudan prior to her independence in July 2011.
‘‘We agreed that each nation should not support rebels fighting against the other. Unfortunately, South Sudan violated the contract and went ahead to train and provide equipment to rebels in Darfur fighting against the republic of Sudan’’ the diplomat claimed.
Originally published by : The Daily Monitor -Kampala.