Uganda willing to give Bashir asylum- government

Tuesday April 16 2019

President Museveni (left) and the then Sudanese

President Museveni (left) and the then Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir after holding bilateral discussions on the sidelines of the AU Heads of State Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on February 11, 2019. PPU/FILE PHOTO 

By Moses Kyeyune

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.

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

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

Mr Oryem talked to journalists after he appeared 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 a civil strife that was occasioned by deplorable economic conditions, ending his 30- year- reign. He was also accused of failing the fight against corruption and ruling Sudanese with an iron fist.

The coup team led by Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan Abdulrahman had indicated that al-Bashir was under arrest and was being kept in a safe place. However, the army didn’t indicate whether they would hand him to ICC or try him under the current martial law.

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 civilian struggle. 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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