Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Uganda: Museveni hits Europe

New Vision ( Uganda ) reports

Netherlands hails Uganda on regional peace
                                                 President Museveni meeting King of Netherland Welen Alexander in Hague

President Yoweri Museveni has called on Western countries not to focus on residual troubled spots when planning for Africa saying most of the continent is peaceful and secure with no war or the threat of potential war.

That is great news. However ...... 

Rwanda has responded to regional criticism about its military deployment along the frontier with the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo saying its territory had been repeatedly hit by cross-border shelling.
“Rwanda did not deploy along the border for the sake of it. During a 10-day period our country was shelled 34 times,” Rwanda’s ambassador to South Africa, Vincent Karega, told BDlive on Monday 

That of course the shelling was instigated at Kigali's command to their proxy M23 seems to have been forgotten. 

" We are also concerned by reports of shelling across the Rwandan border, including credible UN reports that the M23 has fired into Rwandan territory. We call on the M23 to immediately end the hostilities, lay down their arms, and disband, in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions."

“There are some problems in Eastern Congo, Somalia and parts of North Africa but almost 70percent of Africa is peaceful with no possibility of war. When planning for companies to invest in Africa, don’t focus on troubled areas because those are residual,” he said.

And let's not forget Tanzania and Malawi. 

However, the former Tanzania’s Prime Minister Edward Lowassa who is now the chairman of his country’s Parliamentary committee on defense, security and foreign affairs was last week quoted by he local media as saying that Tanzania was ready to go to war if need be.

In the last 18 months, Islamist militants have terrorised the north-east of the country and killed hundreds of people.

Abia state used to be known as the kidnapping capital of Nigeria - families of politicians and businessmen were targeted on what seemed like an industrial scale.

In Central African Republic we have seen new displacement this week in the northwest of the country, sparked by new fighting there.
Heavy clashes were reported between Saturday and Tuesday between unidentified armed groups in and around the towns of Bossembele and Bossangoa, 150 kilometers and 300 kilometers northwest of the capital Bangui respectively. As of now fighting appears to have subsided in the area, but the situation remains very tense.

Then there is North Africa 

Yes. If unchecked, violence could intensify, at least in North African countries. Hardline Islamist ideology has gathered steam chiefly among poor young men left adrift amid youth unemployment and lack of development. Deepening conflict could also affect oil markets if installations in Algeria or Libya – both major hydrocarbons producers – come under threat.

The President, who is on a three-day working visit in Holland, was meeting the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Frans Timmemans at his residency at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Hague.

Timmemans was accompanied by the Director Sub-Saharan Africa Micheal Stibbe and the desk officer for Uganda Ms. Eva Van Woersem. The meeting was also attended by Uganda’s ambassador to the Benelux countries and the European Union Mirjam Blaak and that of the Netherlands to Uganda Alphons Hennekens.

He said what has been lacking in Africa is visionary leadership that could easily identify strategic bottlenecks that have been keeping Africa back.

Yes. Somewhat ironic though.

“There are various bottlenecks including the wrong attitude towards the private sector that led to the nationalization of private assets and the lack of infrastructure such as electricity generation. But these have been identified and the private sector is now emancipated,” he said, adding that they are now addressing the issue of markets and trade through regional integration.

Well it is fairly hard to gain a revenue stream from privately owned business the only real option is corruption. If they are part of the public sector you can raid their revenues and as a bonus sell the rotting hulks off in a privatisation drive.  

                                                                             Well yes

“There is more progress and Africa is becoming more vibrant. I speak English but am getting more business from the Chinese than from my English speaking friends. Europe needs to support their companies to invest in Africa,” he said.

I am guessing he does not speak Dutch.

On the conflict in Eastern DRC, President Museveni said they are trying to make sure that Eastern Congo does not become a haven for terrorists and called on political leaders and development partners to support President Kabila to concentrate on developing an ideology and building state institutions.

Maybe he would like to remind Rwanda of that.

“The idea is not to improve our CVs as having been president. The idea is the mission. If your country is sick what diagnosis do you have for it,” he said.

In Museveni's case that mission has so far taken him 27 years. The Irony Museveni on presidential terms. 

“The problem of Africa in general and Uganda in particular is not the people but leaders who want to overstay in power.” He promised Uganda a new constitution that would empower the people and limit the powers and the time a president can serve.

The new constitution came into effect in 1995. Under this constitution, elections for members of parliament and the president should be held every five years and a president can only serve for two terms each of five years.

Minister Timmermans said his government highly appreciates President Museveni’s vision and efforts in Africa and in the Great Lakes region to bring peace and stability and pledged their support to more peace keeping initiatives. He said there is need for a change of attitude in the western world to have more enthusiasm to know what is happening in Africa.

“Government highly appreciates your vision and efforts in Africa and the Great Lakes region to bring peace and stability. Change of attitude is necessary so that people here can be more enthusiastic about what is happening in Africa,” he said.

Yes... there is of course one slight huge problem. 

In the mid-to-late 1990s, Museveni was lauded by the West as part of a new generation of African leaders. His presidency has been marred, however, by invading and occupying Congo during the Second Congo War (the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo which has resulted in an estimated 5.4 million deaths since 1998) and other conflicts in the Great Lakes region. Recent developments, including the abolition of presidential term limits before the 2006 elections and the harassment of democratic opposition, have attracted concern from domestic and foreign commentators.

For all that there seems to have been an improvement in Ugandas attitude towards regional security issues.

The two leaders discussed various local and regional issues including the situation in DRC and Somalia.

The meeting was also attended by Uganda’s members of parliament Monica Amoding for Youth and Kyewalabye Majegere Waira.

I am not convinced but..... 

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