Ugandan President Idi Amin announced on Monday (8 May) that he would arrange for 60 representatives of southern Sudanese refugees in Uganda to visit southern Sudan later in the week to see for themselves how peace was restored.
Ugandan President Idi Amin announced on Monday (8 May) that he would arrange for 60 representatives of southern Sudanese refugees in Uganda to visit southern Sudan later in the week to see for themselves how peace was restored. General Amin was speaking at a meeting in Kamala's Conference Centre with representatives of the 28,500 Sudanese refugees living in Ugandan resettlement camps.
In addition to the refugees in the camps, a further 38,500 Sudanese are said to be living elsewhere in Uganda.
The conference was attended by Major-General Joseph Lagu, the leader of the southern Sudan liberation movement -- the Anyanya. Answering refugees' fears that the peace agreement signed last March in Addis might break down, he said he believed that the northern Sudanese were even more fearful than those in the south. He pointed out that both sides had lost many dead in the recently-ended 17-year civil war.
Should any Sudanese Government attempt to break the peace agreement, the advantage would lie with the south, the Major-General said, particularly because the Anyanya weren't laying down their arms and because southerners were being incorporated into the Sudanese Army.
The Major-General said that nobody should fear to go home now that peace had returned. He'd spent two weeks in Uganda touring the refugee camps explaining the terms of the Addis Ababa agreement - in which southern Sudan was grated regional autonomy - and informing Sudanese that it was safe to return home should they wish.
Among those attending the conference was Mr. Birido, the Sudanese Charge d'Affaires in Kampala.
General Amin said no Sudanese refugee would be forced to leave Uganda, and added that Sudanese children now in Ugandan schools were welcome to stay until schools had been built in southern Sudan.
The President wound up his address by warning against the dangers of imperialism. He warned the refugees to use their own people to run their country and not to invite "imperialists" to come in.