Uganda willing to host Sudan govt, Darfur rebel talks

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Uganda - Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Wednesday said the east African country was willing to host peace negotiations between the Sudanese government and rebels in the Darfur region.

Museveni told reporters that Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir, though wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), can be provided a safe passage to the Peace Hub in the capital Kampala, 40km north of Entebbe.

"If Bashir and the rebels in Darfur came here for peace and they went to that neutral zone, we can not then turn around and say Bashir you are wanted by ICC, we therefore grab you," he said while addressing reporters at State House Entebbe.

"If he comes for peace, he will definitely be most welcome," he added.

The Peace Hub, located in Munyonyo resort on the shores of Lake Victoria, was launched by African leaders in July this year as a neutral ground where apparent belligerents can meet and talk peace.

Bashir is wanted by The Hague-based court on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sudan's western Darfur region.

The ICC chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo in July requested Uganda to arrest Bashir once he steps on its territory because it was a signatory to the Rome Statute which established the court.

Museveni said he had invited the Sudanese leader to attend an African Union special summit on refugees and internally displaced persons to be held in Kampala next week.