Uganda and South Sudan have finally agreed on a mode of payment for Ugandan traders who supplied South Sudan with food items between 2008-2010.
The agreement was struck at a sideline meeting during today’s one-day visit to Juba by President Yoweri Museveni.
David Bahati, the Ugandan State Minister for Finance in charge of Planning who accompanied Museveni to Juba, said details of the agreement struck with the South Sudan Finance Minister, Stephen Dhieu Dau will be communicated to the responsible parties soon.
South Sudan faltered on payments to many Uganda traders after war broke out between President Salva Kiir and former Vice-president Riek Macar. Uganda was one of several countries hard-hit by the war, with exports in millions of dollars coming to a halt.
Formal exports to South Sudan are reported to have earned the country $80.83 million in financial year 2012/13, $236.28 million in 2013/14 and $308.54million in 2014/15.
On the other hand, informal exports stood at $127.6 million in financial year 2012/13, $125.3 million in 2013/14 and $113.67million in 2014/15. This underlines the importance of South Sudan to the Ugandan economy.
Give Democracy a chance
President Museveni has said that the warring parties in South Sudan should stop and give peace and democracy a chance.
The President’s remarks were made in a brief address to the press this afternoon in Juba, the South Sudanese capital following a private meeting with his South Sudan counterpart, Salva Kiir.
Museveni, who was in South Sudan for a one-day official visit on invitation of Kiir, said the people had fought for self-determination and they should be given chance to exercise it democratically.
“I appeal to the Transitional Government, headed by His Excellency Kiir and the other stakeholders, to stop all actions involving insecurity so that people focus on elections as soon as possible,” said President Museveni. “It’s what people of South Sudan fought for.”
He added: “My prayer is for the people of South Sudan to regain sovereignty through the vote. The fighting should stop and allow the people to regain their power which currently is with those with guns.”
Kiir thanks Museveni for advice
“I appreciate his advice. President Museveni has rich experience and we can gain from him. We have covered several issues on our bilateral relations and I will take all advice he’s given to me,” said President Kiir.
Earlier, on arrival at Juba International Airport, President Museveni was received by South Sudan Vice President, James Wani Igga before inspecting a guard of honour.
US pushing for UN embargo
President Museveni’s visit comes a day before the UN Security Council is expected to vote on a US-drafted resolution to impose an arms embargo and sanctions on South Sudan, now in its fourth year of war.
It remained unclear however whether the measure would be adopted, with diplomats saying that it fell short of the nine votes needed for adoption in the 15-member council, diplomats said. Uganda opposes the UN embargo plan.