President Museveni Sunday said he will continue pushing for elections in the neighboring South Sudan on grounds that it will help solve their political problems “once and for all.”
According to Mr Museveni, elections will force political players in the African youngest nation to form alliances like it was in Kenya and that this will in turn create unity and peace in South Sudan.
“The real medicine to the South Sudan problem is elections. This same problem was in Kenya but was managed when they formed alliances and later held elections. Me I want to push them (South Sudan) to elections. If South Sudan can do the Kenyan way, elections will force them to make alliances and this problem will be history,” Mr Museveni told the United States (US) and United Kingdom (UK) Special Envoys to Uganda who met him at Jinja State Lodge on Sunday.
The US Ambassador to Uganda, Natalie E. Brown was accompanied by the US Special Envoy for South Sudan, Stuart Symington IV to the meeting while the UK High Commissioner to Uganda, Kate Airey was accompanied by the United Kingdom Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, Robert Fairweather, according to a statement from Mr Museveni’s media team.
South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011 after years of civil war, but violence continues to ravage the world’s newest country.
However, the envoys who called on the President yesterday (Sunday) at Jinja State Lodge in Jinja City, are said to have briefed him about the political situation in South Sudan and the way forward to the current standoff.
The president reiterated to the envoys that the African problem is ideological, and advised them to focus on promoting the correct ideology of interests in the African countries.
“What our partners need to know is that many of the problems in Africa are ideological. You should therefore, focus on ideology because it is the real problem of Africa,” Mr Museveni is quoted as saying.
According to him, most Africans do not know that wealth comes from the four sectors of money, that’s, commercial agriculture, industries, services and ICT, adding that for them (Africans) think wealth can only be found in government jobs.
“Africa is 12 times the size of India and four times the size of USA. Our population is 1.3 billion people in Africa. We have a huge continent with a lot of resources. But for Africans, wealth only comes from government jobs,” he said.
He advised the delegation to also go and meet President Salvar Kiir of South Sudan and Dr Riek Machar to have their sides of the story so that a way forward is sought to solve the South Sudan problem once and for all.
The United State Special Envoy, Stuart Symington IV reportedly commended President Museveni and the government for the efforts and role played to secure South Sudan.
“Thank you for sparing time to talk about South Sudan your neighbor. We have seen and appreciate the work Uganda and the neighbors are going in South Sudan,” Symington IV is quoted as saying.
He reportedly warned about the insecurity that may arise out of failure by the warring parties in South Sudan not put the signed agreement in force. He asked Mr Museveni to encourage them to do so and move forward.
“We are going to see them together (Dr. Riek Marcher and President Salvar Kiir) for the first time this week. We shall be lobbying them about the issue of governors and the contested state”. Amb. Syminton said.
Mr Fairweather is said to have requested Mr Museveni to talk and advise Mr Kiir and Mr Machar to take the direction of Kenya.
“If you could advise President Kiir and Marchar to take the direction of elections, this problem will be history. You are the person who can give them confidence,” Mr Fairweather is quoted as saying.
Present at the meeting was the State Minister of Foreign Affair, Mr Okello Oryem, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affair, Mr Patrick Mugoya among others.