15 November 2017

Uganda: Museveni, Bashir Discuss Nile Impasse, South Sudan

Photo: PPU
President Yoweri Museveni and President Omar al-Bashir at Kisozi farm on Tuesday.

Kampala — President Museveni on Tuesday held "private" discussions with the visiting Sudanese president Omar-al-Bashir at his Kisozi farm in Gomba District.

Details of the discussions were not readily available by press time but a senior government official told this newspaper that "the game plan" for South Sudan peace process was key on the agenda.

Khartoum is known to support rebel factions opposed to president Salva Kiir's SPLM government. President Museveni on the other hand has been known to throw weight behind Mr Kiir.

Both Uganda and Sudan are key members of the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (Igad), which is steering the peace process. Igad is currently reviewing outcomes from the 23 consultative meetings held over the last two months, and will base on the findings to revive he peace talks tentatively in January next year.

During the Kisozi meeting, Ms Linda Nabusayi, the President's press secretary, said on her Twitter, that the duo also discussed the River Nile cooperation, including industrialisation and electrification as one of the ways to save the river.

Sudan, takes up roughly 70 per cent of the River Nile. The Nile's catchment area is also shared by Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Egypt, and Kenya. However, Egypt and Sudan declined to sign a new charter known as the Cooperative Framework Agreement or the Entebbe Agreement, which seeks to redefine cooperation and sharing of the world's longest river.

Egypt signed an agreement with Britain in 1929 and Sudan in 1959 granting them larger quotas of the river flow.

As a result, the duo declined to sign the CFA specifically over Article 14(b), which requires members "not to significantly affect the water security of any other Nile Basin States." Their continued absence from the new cooperation has remained a sticking issue in the region.

Meanwhile, the business delegation that travelled with president Bashir, yesterday held back-to-back meetings with different Ugandan authorities to set the stage for furthering cooperation between the two countries in sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, and mining.

Joint venture

During one of the sessions at the Ministry of Finance, the chief executive officer of Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC), rooted for joint venture partnership with interested Sudanese companies in the mass production of the Kiira EV, a solar powered car.

"The government donated to us 100 acres of land in Jinja. We are looking for a strategic partner with equity to assemble vehicles, train locals and provide technical systems such as designs of key plant facility systems," Mr Musasizi told the Sudanese investors.

KMC is the government's flagship car manufacturing company incorporated under the Uganda Development Corporation Limited.

The general manager of Giad Automotive Industry Ltd, a Sudanese automobile company, Saleh Dafaala Karrar, said his company and KMC could start by sharing knowledge "as we work out more details" of the business venture.

The State minister for Investment, Ms Anite Evelyn, assured the investors of a good climate for business.

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