By The Independent Team
Ugandan President Opens Meeting Of East African Parliament
President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda has blamed the conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan on selfish and opportunistic politicians, who take advantage of weak state structures as well as on meddling by foreigners.
Opening the 4th meeting of the 2nd session of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), he stressed the need for the region to unite and ease trade among its people and said politicians who fanned tribal and religious acrimony were sabotaging their people’s prosperity since
the people depended on each other.
He said such opportunists must be exposed through ideological orientation. “Peace and integration are a sine qua non for development. South Sudan had started settling, but now there are challenges, so is Congo, Central African Republic and Somalia. These are fuelled mainly by ideological mistakes,” he said.
He urged the EALA to organise seminars to “dissect this rubbish of so-called conflicts based on tribes and religion”.
“They are based on that ideological mistake. When there was conflict in South Sudan, so many Ugandans, Kenyans, Ethiopians and Eritreans were there. If tribe is important, what were they doing there because their tribes are not there? They were looking for wealth. So, this thing should be exposed ideologically,” he added.
He castigated western diplomats, who interfered by taking sides, thus creating confusion. “Even these foreigners invite them at their embassies and give them tea. Tell them to go away because they have nothing useful to add,” he said.
Another cause of instability, he said, is indiscipline on the part of some of the political actors. “Even if you are fighting a war, why should you rape women? Whether you are a rebel or in government, raping women, looting, killing non-combatants is wrong,” he added.
“These are crimes against humanity. I am glad that in East Africa we have strong structures. We wish those structures can also extend to Congo, South Sudan and Somalia.”
On the development of infrastructure in the region, Museveni said Tanzania’s President Jakaya Kikwete will be spearheading the drive for infrastructure development for the central corridor and that they had agreed on reducing the cost of doing business between the port of Dar-es-Slaam and Lake Victoria.
He outlined the decisions and gains made in the northern corridor, including implementing the non-tariff barriers that have reduced the number of days for moving goods from the kenyan port of Mombasa to Kampala from 18 to between three and four and to Kigali from 22 to six days.
Source : bernama.com