Winnie supports Museveni on S.Sudan crisis

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Oxfam International executive director, Winnie Byanyima, has expressed her support to President Yoweri Museveni to quickly mediate and end the South Sudan crisis.

For years now, the youngest African nation is torn between supporters of President Salva Kiir and those of his former deputy president, Riek Machar, who have continued to clash on several fronts.

This week, President Museveni met with United Kingdom Prime Minister, Theresa May, over South Sudan conflict at the sidelines of the International Conference on Somalia at Lancaster House in London.

The bilateral meeting between the two leaders focused mainly on the situation in Somalia and the conflict in South Sudan, which has generated close to a million refugees making it the second-largest refugee-hosting country in the world after Turkey.

Museveni also met the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres are stoking their efforts to give a face to the refugee crisis in Uganda and raise over US$2billion needed in emergency funds to handle the humanitarian crisis caused by the South Sudan conflict which is yet to end.

Uganda is now host to over 1.2 million refugees, of which almost 800,000 are South Sudanese who have fled the violence and famine with more than 2000 refugees coming in daily according to the United Nations.

“I have been allowed by President Salva Kiir to mediate the warring factions in South Sudan. I will use the IGAD monitoring report and work with the IGAD chairman, Ethiopias’ Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn to see that those who abuse the ceasefire are talked too,” the President said in a one to one meeting with Mr. Guterres at the sidelines of the International Conference on Somalia at Lancaster House in London.

The United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres has confirmed his participation in the June 2017 Refugees Solidarity Conference to be held in Uganda and in which 30 other heads of State and stakeholders will attend.

The two leaders were today involved in a flurry of activities meeting various stakeholders ahead of the conference.

Likewise, Winnie Byanyima who is interested in the dignity of human beings across the globe, is in support of a quick resolution of the South Sudan question to end the increasing refugee crisis.

“Uganda President @KagutaMuseveni & Ethiopia @PrimeMinisterHD can help achieve immediate ceasefire & dialogue in South Sudan,” she tweeted.

Winnie suggested that a “regional approach is needed to enforce a ceasefire and support a meaningful national dialogue”, a step taken by African Union.

In 2016, Uganda and the United Nations each spent USD 150 million responding to the needs of refugees and the communities hosting them in 12 districts.

However, the raising huge numbers are placing a huge strain on the already stressed ability to cater for the food, water, sanitation, health and education needs of the refugees and their host communities.

The ‘Refugee Solidarity’ conference was mooted in January during a meeting between President Museveni and Mr Guterres, at the sidelines of 28th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Uganda is currently ranked as the second-largest refugee-hosting country in the world after Turkey with a refugee population nearing to one million.