Museveni meets the US, UK diplomats over South Sudan border row

Museveni meets the US, UK diplomats over South Sudan border row

President Yoweri Museveni has held discussions with the US and UK special envoys to Uganda about the situation in South Sudan.

The US Ambassador to Uganda, Natalie Brown, was accompanied by the US special envoy for South Sudan, Stuart Symington IV, to the meeting.

The UK High Commissioner to Uganda, Kate Airey, was accompanied by the UK special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, Robert Fairweather.

According to a statement issued yesterday by State House, the envoys called on the President on Sunday at Jinja State Lodge in Jinja city and briefed him about the political situation in South Sudan and the way forward.

ELECTIONS

The President told the delegation that the real medicine to the South Sudan problem is elections. He said elections will force political players in South Sudan to form alliances like it was in Kenya and that this will, in turn, create unity and peace in South Sudan.

“This same problem was in Kenya but was managed when they formed alliances and later held elections. I want to push South Sudan to elections. If South Sudan can do it the Kenyan way, elections will force them to make alliances and this problem will be history,” Museveni said.

Museveni told the envoys that the African problem is ideological, and advised them to focus on promoting the correct ideology of interests in the African countries. He said most Africans do not know that wealth comes from the four sectors of the economy; namely commercial. agriculture, industries, services and ICT, adding that Africans think wealth can only be found in government jobs.

“Africa is 12 times the size of India and four times the size of the US. Our population is 1.3 billion people in Africa. We have a huge continent with lots of resources. But for Africans, wealth only comes from government jobs,” he said. He advised the delegation to also meet President Salvar Kiir of South Sudan and Dr Riek Machar to have their side of the story so that a way forward is sought to solve the South Sudan problem.

ENVOYS SPEAK OUT

Symington commended the President and government for the efforts and role played to secure South Sudan. “We have seen and appreciate the work Uganda and the neighbors are doing,” he said.

Symington also warned about the insecurity that may arise out of a failure by the warring parties in South Sudan to put the signed agreement into force. “We are going to see them together (Dr Riek Macher and President Salvar Kiir) for the first time this week. We shall be lobbying them about the issue of governors and the contested state,” Symington said.

Fairweather requested Museveni to advise Kiir and Machar to take the direction of Kenya he talked about. According to humanitarian agencies, although it is over two years since South Sudan’s leaders signed an agreement to end a five-year civil war that killed almost 400,000 people and displaced millions, peace remains elusive.

The country is experiencing escalating communal violence and a deepening humanitarian crisis, made worse by an ongoing political stalemate.