President Yoweri Museveni, the current chairman of the EAC and mediator of Burundi crisis, has asked the conflicting parties in the region’s smallest state to make his work a little easier.
Museveni was on Friday discussing the factors that cause refugees to flee their countries of birth at the Refugees Summit held in Munyonyo.
He said the poor African people either flee from bad governments or from criminal, terrorist groups or from both or flee from drought which is easier to understand because it is not man-made.
“It is the man-made crises that are totally unnecessary and should be condemned. The regional mechanisms, if actively used, supported by the International Community can help resolve the man-made crises.”
He said the Great Lakes and the UN are supposed to handle the endless man-made crises in Congo, including the occupation of Eastern Congo by terrorists from Uganda, other East African countries, Congo itself and, “I hear, even Somalia and the Middle East”.
He said the ICGLR and the UN have been totally un-useful on this long-standing tragedy in that area while the IGAD is trying to handle the problem in South Sudan.
“President Salva Kiir has additionally, mandated me to deal with certain aspects of that crisis.”
He said the EAC is handling the problem of Burundi.
“I appeal to the Government of Burundi to make our work easier than it has been. The Burundi-Arusha Agreement was guaranteed by the East African Governments. Any failure there will, in part, be our responsibility.”
According to Museveni, the problem of Somalia rests more with the Somali leaders-otherwise, the IGAD, the AU and the International Community have done alot to save Somalia from the demonic groups that had overrun the country.
“If the Somali leaders could use the solidarity of the Africans and the World to revive the pillars of the Somali State (the army, the police, etc) and form patriotic parties, the terrorists could be defeated completely and Somalia’s recovery would be irreversible,” he said.
The president observed that bad politics, utilising the pseudo-ideology of opportunistically exploiting identity of religion or tribes is behind most of these crises and that the ideology of sectarianism in Africa must be condemned.
Uganda suffered from those mistakes until we formed the Student Movement in the 1960s that rejected the pseudo-ideology of exploiting identity and emphasized the ideology of pushing for the legitimate interests of our people (development, peace, wealth creation, market access, education, health, etc), he narrated.
“It is that Movement of patriotism as opposed to sectarianism and Pan-Africanism as opposed to parochialism that helped us to rescue Uganda.”
The leaders, both in Government and Opposition, of the suffering countries have a very serious historic responsibility to end this haemorrhage and suffering of the poor African people affected.
I thank you for this Solidarity Conference. I wish the Conference success.