Uganda Backtracks On Decision To Bar Sudanese President From AU Summit

By Shout-Africa – Uganda has backtracked on an earlier decision not to invite Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir to the African Union summit.

“President Bashir of Sudan was actually invited for the AU summit scheduled to take place in Kampala from the 19-29 July 2010,” read a statement from Uganda’s ministry of Foreign Affairs that appeared in the press Tuesday.

Sam Kutesa, the Ugandan foreign minister, told RFI that the government was misquoted.

“We invited Sudan, we invited all African countries,” he said in an interview on Tuesday.

But the government was quoted last week saying that President Bashir was not invited, prompting a furious response from the Sudanese government.

“President Yoweri Museveni has disclosed that his Sudanese counterpart General Omar Hassan Beshir has not been invited to attend the African Union Conference” but that Sudan was free to send another representative, read the presidency statement released on Saturday evening.

Sudan responded on Sunday by demanding an apology from Uganda and asking the summit be moved to another venue.

Uganda has in the past wavered in its attitude toward Beshir, who is wanted by the ICC for war crimes and crimes against humanitity in connection with the conflict in Sudan’s western Darfur region.