Direct flights between Sudan and Uganda


Sudanese carrier Tarco Air is to start direct flights between Khartoum and Uganda’s Entebbe International Airport as the countries move on warming relations and boosting trade.

A communique issued this week after talks between Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni and Sudan’s President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir who was visiting the East African country, said the direct flights would “promote trade, tourism and investment” between both countries.

According to its website, Tarco Air is a private Sudanese domestic carrier established in 2009.

The leaders also discussed the need to exploit commercial opportunities spurred by the United States’ lifting of economic sanctions on Sudan.

The US lifted long-standing sanctions against Sudan last month, saying it had made progress fighting terrorism and easing humanitarian distress.

Sudan mainly imports coffee from Uganda which is Africa’s largest exporter of the commodity. According to Uganda government-run sector regulator, Sudan is the second biggest importer of Ugandan coffee after the European Union.

For years relations between Uganda and Sudan were icy, undermined by mutual suspicions over supporting rebel groups on each other’s territory.

Uganda accused Sudan of offering succour to the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) warlord Joseph Kony while Sudan said Uganda was lending support to SPLA, the rebel group fighting for an Independent South Sudan.

Relations have gradually warmed after South Sudan gained independence and the LRA was driven from its bases in northern Uganda to the jungles of Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo.