13 April 2018

Uganda: Museveni - I Can't Invite UN Peacekeepers Here

Photo: PPU
President Yoweri Museveni and former Zanzibar President Abeid Karume, left, launch an app for Global Peace Leadership Conference at State House Entebbe.

Entebbe — President Museveni has said Uganda will never invite UN peacekeepers to fight in the country, saying it "would be a vote of no confidence" in Ugandans.

Mr Museveni was speaking during the launch of an app for Global Peace Leadership Conference (GPLC) at State House Entebbe with the former Zanzibar President Abeid Karume

Asked why leaders in the region have failed to pacify DR Congo where a civil war has been raging since the late 1990s, Mr Museveni said it is because of sectarianism and the collapse of the state structure in Africa's second largest country.

Mr Museveni said he was shocked when UN peacekeepers from Uruguay, a country he said never heard of until then, were killed by rebels in the DR Congo.

The United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Monusco) is the largest and most expensive UN peacekeeping mission, with a total of 19,000 peacekeepers.

"You have a country [DR Congo] which does not have an army, which depends on UN. For me to invite the UN into Uganda would be a vote of no confidence in ourselves. Why can we not guarantee our own stability? We would never invite the UN to come and fight our wars. If there is no fighting to be done, we fight ourselves because we are here," Mr Museveni said.

He added: "Those conflicts [in DR Congo] are centred on a number of problems. One of the problems is conflicts of identity, tribalism and religious sectarianism-like the conflict between Lendu and the Hema. They you have a weak state structure."

The summit in Kampala, that is set to convene between August 1-3 at Speke Resort Munyoyo, will discuss, among others, the conflicts in DR Congo that have led to refugees fleeing into Uganda. The website that was launched by Mr Museveni and Mr Karume listed moral uprightness, education, unity in diversity and business as some of the prerequisites of peace. Mr Museveni said corruption affects sustainable peace.

"You need moral uprightness because corrupt people cannot create peace for long," he said.


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