President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has met and held discussions with the United States (US) and United Kingdom (UK) special envoys to Uganda about the situation in South Sudan.
The US Ambassador to Uganda, H.E Natalie E. Brown was accompanied by the US Special Envoy for South Sudan H.E Stuart Symington IV to the meeting while the UK High Commissioner to Uganda H.E Kate Airey was accompanied by the United Kingdom Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, H.E Robert Fairweather.
The envoys who called on the President on Sunday at the Jinja State Lodge in Jinja City, briefed him about the political situation in South Sudan and the way forward to the current standoff.
In response, Museveni told the two delegations that the medicine to the South Sudan problem is elections.
He noted that elections will force political players in South Sudan to form alliances like it was in Kenya and that this will in turn create unity and peace in South Sudan.
“This same problem was in Kenya but was managed when they formed alliances and later held elections. 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,” Museveni said.
President Museveni told his guests 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,” he said.
The President said that most Africans think wealth can only be found in government jobs yet it comes from the four sectors of money, i.e. commercial agriculture, industries, services and ICT.
“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 Salva 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 H.E Stuart Symington IV who thanked the President for sparing time off his busy campaign schedule commended Museveni and the Ugandan 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 doing in South Sudan” Amb. Stuart Symington IV said.
Ambassador Stuart Symington 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 the President 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 states,” Amb. Syminton said.
The United Kingdom Special Envoy H.E Robert Fairweather requested President Museveni to talk and advise President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar to take the direction of Kenya he talked about earlier of elections.
“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”. Amb. Robert Fairweather said.
The meeting recommended that the US and UK delegations go and meet President Salvar Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar to have a way forward.
Present at the meeting was the State Minister of Foreign Affairs Okello Oryem, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affair, Amb. Patrick Mugoya among others.
In November 2018 the warring parties in South Sudan signed an agreement to form a unity government, which would see Machar return to government as vice president and the same was supposed to have been implemented by May last year before elections in 30 months but the period was extended by another six months until November 12, 2019.
Early this year, South Sudan’s rebel leader Riek Machar and President Salva Kiir finally agreed to form a coalition government.
President Museveni who is one of the guarantors of the transitional agreement last year in November sent the then UPDF Air Force Chief of Staff, Maj.Gen. Paul Lokech to monitor on behalf of the guarantors, the assembling, screening, demobilization and integration of the armed forces of South Sudan.