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Uganda expels Sudanese official on suspicion of spying

By Godfrey Olukya
Posted on Wednesday, 2 October 2013 14:16

Dr Jad-el-Seed Muhammed Elhag, 50, a diplomat at the Sudanese embassy’s foreign service in Uganda, was given a 24 hour ultimatum to leave the country after he was reportedly caught trying to bribe an official last Sunday.

The diplomat left the East African country on Sunday.

Babu Mugambe, Ugandan intelligence officer, said Elhag, who had been under surveillance for sometime, was obtaining sensitive information about the country’s security, illegally.

“We have been tracking him after realising that he was contacting some government officers with the aim of getting information illegally,” Mugambe said. He said Elhag was apprehended red-handed, as he paid money, in a sting operation masterminded by Ugandan intelligence.

Revealing details of the sting, Mugambe said a security agent was involved in the trap, after establishing that Elhag was offering money to obtain sensitive government documents.

“Elhag was arrested on Sunday in Kampala, as he was paying money to our agent so that he secures classified information,” he said.

Uganda’s Minister of State for Regional Affairs, Asuman Kiyingi confirmed the arrest of the Sudanese diplomat, but added that the two countries’ diplomatic relations would remain intact.

“After his arrest, [the] Sudan embassy asked to be given time to recall him, but we insisted that he leaves the country because he no longer behaved like a diplomat. He had been cited in cases of espionage,” Kiyingi said.

The Sudanese ambassador in Uganda, Adil Sharif confirmed that Elhag had left Uganda, saying that he expects a replacement soon.

The relationship between the two countries has at times been shaky, with each accusing the other of supporting dissidents, who had aimed at overthrowing the seating regimes.