Uganda willing to give Bashir asylum - minister

Tuesday April 16 2019

Yoweri Museveni omar bashir

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni (left) sits with former Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir during a welcome ceremony upon the Museveni's arrival in Khartoum on September 15, 2015. Uganda says it is willing to consider giving asylum to deposed Bashir. PHOTO | ASHRAF SHAZLY | AFP 

DAILY MONITOR
By DAILY MONITOR
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The government of Uganda said Tuesday it was willing to consider giving asylum to deposed Sudan leader Gen Omar al-Bashir in appreciation for his role in the South Sudan peace deal.

Uganda’s State Minister for foreign affairs Henry Okello Oryem, told journalists at Parliament buildings: “If Omar al-Bashir applies for asylum in Uganda that is a matter that can be considered by the President of Uganda.” He described al-Bashir as President even after he was deposed by Sudanese army last week,

“President Omar Bashir was co-guarantor for the peace agreement of South Sudan, he has played a very critical role (for)which we are very grateful and his asylum in Uganda is something we can consider,” the minister added.

Mr Oryem was speaking to journalists after appearing before the Foreign Affairs committee to present the ministry budget proposals for the Financial Year 2019/20.

Bashir was overthrown by the army last Thursday following several months of protests occasioned by deplorable economic conditions, ending his 30- year-reign.

He is also accused of failing the fight against corruption and ruling the Sudanese people with an iron fist.

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The coup team led by Defence Minister Awad Ibn Auf had indicated that al-Bashir was under arrest and was being kept in a safe place.

After initially saying Bashir and other ICC suspects would be tried locally and not extradited to The Hague court, the army said on Monday that decision would be left to the next civilian government.

He would have been tried locally under the existing martial law after the army suspended the constitution.

Bashir has been on ICC's wanted list for crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide in Darfur since 2005. However, President Museveni in 2016 blasted ICC as a bunch of useless people”.

At the time of al-Bashir’s overthrow, Uganda and Sudan had resolved past misunderstandings.

Mr Oryem also reiterated that what’s important is for a peaceful transition of power in respect to the popular aspiration of the Sudanese people

He also asked the military leadership to respect the wishes of the Sudanese.

Mr Oryem also said that the government of Uganda is “closely watching” developments in Khartoum, and that Uganda prays, the players in the transition respect the will of the people.

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