By Patrick Jaramogi
ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA: Peace in the Great Lakes Region will Prevail as regional leaders strive to coordinate the peace process, President Yoweri Museveni has said.
Museveni who is in Ethiopia for the African Union Summon made this disclosure when meeting the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security policy, Federica Morgherini. Museveni told Morgherini at the sidelines of the AU summit that peace is getting better in the region, say for Burundi and South Sudan that he described as not being cooperative and committed to the peace process. He noted that there was no free war in Burundi but added that the crisis driven nation was committed to the peace process as per the recent commitments at the just ended East African Community Summit in Arusha, Tanzania. “I am leading the peace process in Burundi, and I am aware of what is disrupting the peace process. That issue will however be sorted soon,” said President Museveni. He hailed Europe for being closer to the Africa continent. “We are grateful for the support from the European Union and for development and trade. It is very important for more energy to be unleashed,” he said.
Museveni told Morgherini, who is also the Vice Chairperson of the Commission that Uganda’s economy was steadily growing. He said Uganda as a nation was addressing the removal of development bottlenecks through infrastructure development. President Museveni who left Uganda on Saturday for the 32nd Ordinary Summit of the African Union Heads of State and Government said his focus will be on handling the massive refugee problems in the continent. Currently Uganda is hosting over a million refugees, the biggest refugee holder in the world, mainly from South Sudan and DR Congo. Meanwhile out going AU Chairperson and Rwandan President Paul Kagame said investing in the health systems of African countries has already had transformative effects on the African population but more needs to be done. “That is why the outcome of this meeting is so important. Let me leave you with four points. First, governments should surely be willing and able to increase domestic investment in healthcare. A good indicator of this is the progress we have made towards securing the financial health of AU, and mobilizing our own resources for joint priorities such as the Peace Fund. We should be the first ones to contribute to efforts that directly benefit our people,” he said.
Kagame handed over to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah- al Sisi. During his tenure, the Rwandan president has pushed for a continent-wide import tax to fund the AU and reduce its dependence on external donors, who still pay for more than half the institution’s annual budget.