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Uganda invites Eritrean leader for state visit

KAMPALA, Aug    13 – Uganda has invited the leader of the secretive state of Eritrea, Issaias Afeworki, for a three-day visit next week, terming the Horn of Africa country as key to regional stability.

However, Eritrea’s neighbours Ethiopia and Djibouti are leading East African calls for United Nations sanctions against Asmara over terror accusations.

“Eritrea is one of the strategically vital countries to the stability of the region especially in the Horn of Africa and the wider global agenda,” a statement by Uganda’s presidency said Thursday.

Issaias is expected to arrive on August 16.

Eritrea has sought to rejoin the East Africa peace bloc, Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, four years after it pulled out, but the body has noted that Asmara faced serious accusations in a UN report.

The UN Monitoring Group on Eritrea and Somalia said Asmara was behind a plan to bomb an African Union summit in January in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

UN experts have also said Eritrea was arming and supporting insurgents in Somalia, including the Shebab group linked to Al-Qaeda.

Uganda has deployed the bulk of soldiers to the African Union force in Somalia which the Shebab insurgents are battling to overthrow.


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