Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | President Omar Al-Bashir of Sudan is in Uganda for a two-day state visit November 13-14, 2017.
Bashir and his host President Yoweri Museveni will discuss a number of areas of cooperation including trade and investment, agriculture, regional peace and security as well as international matters of mutual interest.
The visits mark the strengthening of bilateral relations between Uganda and Sudan, that have seen both presidents make two visits in the past two years.
This will be Bashir’s second visit after attending the swearing-in ceremony of Museveni on May 12, 2016.
On his part, President Museveni paid a 2-day working visit to Sudan from September 15-16 2015 during which he delivered a lecture on the theme “The Challenges of Economic Development and Peace Building” to the Cabinet Ministers, Diplomatic Corps, Academicians and Civil Society.
Museveni again visited Khartoum from October 10-11, 2016, to witness the closure of the National Dialogue Conference
Bashir will be accompanied by ministers, senior officials and a business delegation in various sectors who will be seeking opportunities to carry out trade, investments and business partnerships. During the visit, a Sudan-Uganda Business Forum is expected to be held.
Despite an international war crimes indictment, Bashir has travelled to Uganda, Rwanda and South Africa before.
The European Union and its Member States issued a statement saying they regret the visit of President Omar Al-Bashir to Uganda, a State party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Sudan imports 20% of Uganda coffee and is the single biggest export market for the product from which about US $ 100 million is earned.
A delegation from the Sudanese Standards and Metrology Organization visited Uganda from November 5-8, 2017 to inspect the coffee testing/quality assurance facilities of Uganda Coffee Development Authority, Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) and private coffee processors.
Ahead of the Bashir visit, the Undersecretary/Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sudan visited Uganda from October 5-6, 2017 and met his counterpart Amb. Patrick Mugoya, during which the two sides agreed on steps to implement the decisions taken by the 5th session of the Joint Ministerial Commission which was held in Khartoum.
Among the issues they discussed were opportunities for trade and investment, immigration, air transport, regional issues and security matters. They also held a meeting with respective Ministries and stakeholders to discuss ways of improving the Coffee trade with Sudan.
Uganda will be hosting the 6th Session of the Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) by March 2018.