By Nasser Kasozi Akandwanaho
Uganda’s Ambassador to Khartoum, Republic of Sudan, Dr. Rashid Yahya Ssemuddu, has underscored Uganda’s role in regional peace and security, pointing out the keen interest in the Tripartite framework aimed at bringing lasting peace to Southern Sudan.
Ssemuddu made the remarks shortly after presenting a copy of credentials to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Sudan, Ambassador Ali Al Sadiq.
The ceremony, held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Headquarters in the country’s Capital Khartoum, was attended by senior officials at the Embassy of Uganda in Sudan.
Credentials paved the way for him to start working formally and interfacing with the Government of the Republic of Sudan.The Credentials were written by the President of the Republic of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa to his Republic of Sudan counterpart.
Ssemuddu was welcomed by the Sudanese Foreign Minister, Ambassador Ali Al Sadiq Ambassador Ssemuddu to the Republic of Sudan who promised to give him all the support to facilitate his work during the tour of duty.
He reiterated his government’s continued cooperation with the Government of the Republic of Uganda.
During the ceremony, Ssemuddu expressed gratitude to the Government of Republic of Sudan for the excellent bilateral relationship between the two sister states, and its impact on Uganda’s regional organisations, including: the African Union, EAC, IGAD and ICGLR.
Ambassador Ssemuddu noted the Visit of Gen. Abdel Fattah al Burhan, the President of the Republic of Sudan, and the resolve made with his Ugandan counterpart, Yoweri Museveni to reactivate the Joint Ministerial Commission and Joint Political Consultative Committee meetings.
He thanked the government of Sudan for the hundreds of scholarships they have offered to Ugandans over time, to study in Sudanese institutions of higher learning.
This development is an important ritual in the commencement of the Ambassador’s tour of duty, only a step away from presentation of credentials to the President of the Transitional Council and Head of State of the Republic of Sudan, Gen. Abdel Fattah Al Burhan.
Credentials, commonly known as diplomatic credentials, is a letter addressed from one head of state to another, asking him/ her to give credence (authority or acceptance) to the ambassador’s claim of speaking for their country.
Ambassador Ssemuddu arrived in Khartoum aboard Tarco Aviation on Tuesday June 10, 2022 and was received in a colourful ceremony at the Khartoum International Airport, by a jubilant assemblage of officers, including Ambassador Haji Silima Kombo, Ambassador of Tanzania to Sudan who representative his East African Community colleagues among others.
Ssemuddu’s posting to Khartoum is an iteration of an illustrious career that has seen the amiable diplomat serve as Uganda’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, and non-resident Ambassador to Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Jordan and Yemen.
Under the same docket, he was Uganda’s Permanent Representative to the Organisation of Islamic Conference.
While on his earlier tour of duty, Ssemuddu scored a number of firsts, including: signing the first bilateral labour agreement with Saudi Arabia, enabling a regulated externalisation of Uganda’s migrant workers.
This has enabled transparency and accountability in the labour externalisation relationship with the largest destination of Ugandan migrant workers. A similar agreement was negotiated and finalised with the State of Qatar.
On Ssemuddu’s watch, President Museveni made his first state visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the State of Qatar.
During the respective visits, Uganda signed a number of bilateral agreements and memoranda of cooperation, with her counterparts in a number of fields, including, among others: Aviation; Agriculture; double taxation; investment cooperation; defence cooperation; political consultations; and economic, trade and technical cooperation.
The Republic of Sudan, in its current form, would present a unique set of opportunities and challenges to Ambassador Ssemuddu, given its long running civil and economic instabilities.
Sudan has been beset with political instability following the April 11, 2019 takeover of the transitional government, and replacement of former President, Gen. Omar Al-Bashir.
The Sudanese Capital has since been the scene of intermittent demonstrations, and run-ins with the authorities. Lately, the clashes have weakened to scattered skirmishes.
“Together with our brothers and sisters in Sudan, we shall work toward ensuring stability and economic rejuvenation in this country. We shall at the same time, move on with bilateral issues of interest between our two sister countries. Where there is a will, there is a way and with God anything is possible,” said Ssemuddu shortly after presenting a copy of his credentials.
Ssemuddu studied in Sudan for one year for his Ordinary Level education before moving to Saudi Arabia.