President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has said that the conflict in South Sudan is caused by lack of ideology and politicians who push forward identity politics and forget the interests of the people.
“Identity is important but it should not be promoted at the expense of the common interests of the people. Even Uganda was a failed state but was rescued by a student movement that taught people to forget about identity politics,” he said.
The President was this evening meeting the United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley whom he briefed about the security situation in South Sudan, Burundi and Somalia at Uganda House in New York. The President is in New York to attend the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
The President said there was need to unite the various factions of the SPLM and that he was mediating talks to unite the SPLM as the Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn works on the wider unity of the other parties.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), an average of more than 1,800 South Sudanese refugees a day have fled to Uganda in the past year. The influx has become the fastest growing refugee crisis in the world. More than 85 per cent of South Sudanese refugees in Uganda are women and children under the age of 18.
In addition to the million refugees now hosted by Uganda, a million or even more South Sudanese refugees are being hosted by Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Central African Republic.
Ambassador Nikki Haley commended President Museveni and the government of Uganda for the support towards the refugees and the reform efforts in Somalia and South Sudan.
“Uganda has been a good example on what it means to take in refugees. US offers its support as you continue to do that,” she said.
The Ugandan Ambassador to the UN Adonia Ayebare, the Minister for Foreign Affairs Sam Kuteesa, the Minister of State International Affairs Okello Oryem and the Ugandan Ambassador to the US Mull Katende attended the meeting.