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Rift Valley Institute

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Uganda Signals Diplomatic Breakthrough With Sudan on Rebels

(Bloomberg) — Uganda vowed to expel Sudanese rebel leaders living in the country, signaling a potential thaw in relations between two African nations that in the past have accused each other of supporting anti-government insurgencies.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Sudanese second Vice President Hasabo Abdel-Rahman agreed that “the dissidents of Sudan in Uganda should leave” during a meeting in the capital, Kampala, this week, Ugandan Foreign Affairs spokesman Fred Opolot said by phone on Thursday. A statement on the website of Sudan’s foreign ministry in Khartoum confirmed an agreement on “ending activities of negative groups.”

“This might prove to be Khartoum’s most significant diplomatic breakthrough in the region since the rapprochement with Chad,” Magdi el-Gizouli, a fellow at the Nairobi-based Rift Valley Institute, a research group, said Thursday in a response to e-mailed questions.

“At one point all leaders” of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front, a rebel coalition, “frequented or resided in Kampala,” El-Gizouli said. “It is probably too early to be sure whether they have or will soon leave, but the fact that Sudan and Uganda are talking at that level is already remarkable.”

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