Regional leaders can end South Sudan war, says president

Wednesday 7th May 2014

President Yoweri Museveni has said that the crisis in South Sudan is solvable and can be handled by the regional leaders.

During a meeting he held with the British Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening at the sidelines of the UK – Uganda Business Forum currently taking place at Lancaster House in London, the President said Uganda was worse than the current situation in South Sudan or Somalia.

“We managed to restored order in Uganda, we can also do the same to South Sudan,” he said. 

He regretted that Southern Sudan leaders have succumbed to sectarian ideology instead of fronting a united country, adding that he was talking to both leaders to ensure that peace prevails.

He explained that sectarianism is based on the failure by the leaders to understand that their tribal groups are inter-dependant on one another. 

“We overcame sectarianism in Uganda because Ugandans rejected the sectarian ideology,” he said, noting however that this takes times. 

He attributed the crisis in South Sudan to sectarian ideology and killing of civilians because of impunity.

Museveni said that he told the people of Uganda that sticking to their tribal groupings was ideological bankruptcy. 

“In my village, my neighbours do not buy my milk because we all produce the same. The people who buy milk are not my tribesmen. This is what the Southern Sudan leaders must understand in order to transcend their tribal interests. I have been telling these leaders that they are the cause of the problem of their country and I have always urged them to work for the unity of their people,” he said. 

The President gave the example of UPDF that draws membership from all the tribes of Uganda saying, this is why they have managed difficult places like Somalia.

“It is because they know that they are protecting both Uganda and Pan African interests,” he said.

He defended the deployment of UPDF in Southern Sudan saying, that this was intended to eliminate a massacre.

The President who is on a three day working visit to London had earlier given a key note address at the business forum organised jointly by Uganda Investment Authority and the Commonwealth Business Council. 

He advised the British government to direct its financial assistance to direct investments and leave the Ugandan government to handle the infrastructure.

He said that there was need to address the hardware problems such as the infrastructure as well soft ware issues such as good governance and democracy. 
“Once you give priority to the hardware challenges the rest can be handled by the state,” he said.

On corruption, President Museveni defended the government saying that there is need to recruit committed and loyal cadres into the civil service. 

“We have liberated the Uganda Revenue Authority and KCCA from enemy territories, but this has taken time. We shall do the same to other institutions,” he said, adding that the people who have trained a strong and well disciplined army will do the same to other institutions.

On the civil service reforms, President Museveni suggested that a civil service institute be established specifically for the training of civil servants about their role to the society. 

On power generation, the President said that power and roads as well as railway construction should not be done on borrowed money because it generates interest and make those utilities expensive for the consumers and make production costs to be high which has an adverse impact on the products produced. 

“These funds, for energy, roads and railway construction should be generated by either government or through grants,” he said.

The Minister Justine Greening hailed Uganda’s development initiatives and pledged more British aid to the country.

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