Published On: Sun, Jun 17th, 2018

Uganda calls for extension of UPDF mission in Somalia

Uganda’s Prime Minister, Ruhakana Rugunda asked visiting chairperson of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Wang Yang for support in ending the regional conflicts.
Rugunda and Wang met at Kampala Serena Hotel on Thursday where they discussed issues related to the security situations in South Sudan, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi among others.
During the discussion, Rugunda went through the measures Uganda believes would be undertaken to restore peace in its war-torn neighbours.

Somalia

Rugunda said the Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) including Uganda would want China to help them persuade the UN Security Council to reverse its decision to draw down the troops.

Other troop-contributing countries in Somalia include Burundi, Ethiopia and Djibouti.

The UN recently passed a resolution endorsing the troop drawdown to allow the Somali government to shoulder its responsibility.

Rugunda noted that TCC’s position remains that the drawdown should be synchronised with the corresponding strengthening of Somali Security Forces.

South Sudan

Rugunda said at the request of the government of South Sudan, Uganda has made efforts to unite the different Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) warring groups with a view of achieving cohesiveness. “But I must emphasise that these efforts have been and remain complementary to the IGAD efforts,” he said.

The South Sudan war broke out in December 2013 after President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar and 10 others of attempting a coup de tat.

Burundi

Rugunda said that an inclusive dialogue is the only solution to the conflict in Burundi. “As a guarantor to the 2005 Arusha Agreement, the East African Community has remained committed to support and steer the Burundi regional peace process forward,” he said.

Refugee issues

The two leaders also discussed the refugee challenges for Uganda.
Uganda is currently a home for over 1.4 million refugees displaced by war from the neighbouring countries. Rugunda thanked China for the generous support and solidarity on the refugee issue.

“We would like to count on your continued support. Uganda is also committed to working with refugee-sending countries, regional and international partners to address the root cause of the refugee crisis,” he said.
Rugunda reiterated Uganda’s commitment to an open door policy on refugees despite what he termed as unprecedented challenges it has on the country.

Wang promised Rugunda that China will continue supporting Uganda to achieve its development goals.

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