President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has met the heads of delegations who attended Uganda’s 61st Independence Day Anniversary, which was held yesterday in Kitgum District.
The delegates from Burundi, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and Tanzania were led by H.E Prosper Bazombanza, the Vice President of Burundi, Mr. Mohamed Sidati, Sahrawi Minister of Foreign Affairs, and H.E Doto M. Biteko, the Deputy Prime Minister of Tanzania, respectively.
The meeting was held at State House, Entebbe on Tuesday 10th October 2023.
While addressing the delegates, President Museveni emphasized the need for African countries to work collectively towards a common goal of developing together.
“I was in Burundi in 1971 before the war which was caused by tribal conflicts and I think there was a need to organize each other politically and ideologically which did not happen,” he said.
“The conflict between Hutu and Tutsi is artificial because in the first place , the Baganwa were the ones with power, meaning both the poor Tutsi and Hutu were oppressed and so there was need for them to work against oppression together and not fight against each other basing on tribal differences.”
President Museveni further called for the spirit of togetherness and reconciliation in present day Africa and urged leaders to work towards integration.
“Like here in East Africa, we have formed the East African Community (EAC) and in West Africa we have the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) and we are also forming the continental trade areas.”
On his part, H.E Bazombanza noted, “To Celebrate Independence is a very big event for our countries because it expresses the level of development in our countries despite our social, political and economic challenges.”
On the other hand, President Museveni advised Arab countries in Africa to seriously consider strengthening the formation of the Maghreb Union, as a unifying body.
“If we want to change the borders, we have to change them peacefully through integration and you people in those areas, you were supposed to form the Maghreb Union, why don’t you do that?” he asked.
“Under the plan of action that is what you were supposed to do; to form the Maghreb Union but nobody could form it because of the unprincipled contradictions created,” he added.
Mr. Sidati reaffirmed the need to form the Maghreb Union saying that the body will help the Arab Countries in Africa to develop tremendously; socially, politically and economically.
The meeting was also attended by the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of East African Community Affairs, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, the Minister of State for Defence, Hon. Jacob Oboth Oboth, among others.