By Tekle Mariam
ADDIS ABABA – The government of Uganda squarely blamed the rebels group lead by former vice president Dr Riek Machar for the failures of meeting between Uganda president, Yoweri Museveni and the delegation of rebels who jetted in at Entebe on Monday.
The rebels delegation led by the group’s powerful deputy, Gen Alfred Ladu Gore and accompanied by other senior members of the group which included Dhiew Mathok and Ezekiel Gatkuoth stayed at Entebbe Airport terminal for nearly 12 hours hoping to meet officials from Uganda government who can ushered and facilitated their meeting with Museveni.
In the evening on Monday, the delegation boarded back a chartered plane for Addis Ababa and strongly accused Uganda of being double standard for cancelling the meeting at the last minute without prior announcement.
The rebels since last week disclosed that they were invited by Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni through Ugandan Ambassador in Addis to go and facilitate a meeting between Museveni and the rebel leader Dr Riek Machar.
Museveni is seen in South Sudan a serious enemy to the rebels for his troops’ participation in the fighting in South Sudan. IGAD countries and International community insisted that having Uganda forces fighting along the forces of Salva kiir complicates the peace talks in Addis Ababa and therefore must be withdrawn.
Museveni according to the rebels wanted to amend ties with Riek so as to forge an exit strategy from the battlefields in South Sudan and pursue a diplomatic position in the Kenyan and Ethiopia dominated peace talks.
Ugandan embassy in Addis when contacted on this story categorically denied any arrangements for rebels delegates to see Museveni and so did the government in Kampala. Instead the government of Uganda said, it only have arranged meetings with the group of former detainees who met President Museveni at his palace to discuss their position on the peace talks. Ugandan government disclosed that they didn’t show up at Entebbe airport because they also met a ‘similar group’ of South Sudan rebels and there should not be a double up and so the rebels should have sort out their differences before sending one group to represent them.
The confusion prompted rebel deputy Ladu Gore to call off any meeting with the government of Uganda “because they are not serious” for peace.
The Upper Nile Times