President Yoweri Museveni has appealed to the United States (US) government to continue partnering with Uganda to address security challenges in the Great Lakes region.
This is carried in his speech delivered by Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda at the celebrations to mark the 242nd Independence of the United States. The celebrations were held last evening at the residence of the US Ambassador, Deborah Malac in Kololo.
“I wish to note that in many parts of the Great Lakes Region, conflict dynamics are still existent. The resource-rich enclaves remain home to armed groups hostile to neighbouring countries and governments. Conflicts continue to push away citizens from their motherland creating a refugee crisis for the region. Such groups thrive due to the collapse of state authorities in some of the countries,” Museveni’s statement reads in part.
He called upon the US and the international community to continue with the partnership and solidarity in bringing about stability and creating new opportunities for the region.
Museveni further said that countries should together continue to encourage the peaceful resolution of underlying political, economic and social conflicts with a view to setting the region on a new path of development and prosperity.
He pledged Uganda’s cooperation in security critical areas, adding that the government is looking forward to enhanced partnership in addressing regional, continental and international peace and security challenges.
President Museveni also acknowledged previous support and solidarity the US continues to extend to Uganda citing areas of governance, peace and security, humanitarian assistance, accountability sector and many others.
He also described the US as Uganda’s strategic ally in professionalising the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), which is playing key peacekeeping roles in the region.
The President further applauded the US for cooperating with Uganda in its journey to economic transformation in which it targets to achieve middle-income status in the near future through investment in infrastructure, optimal utilization of natural resources, investment in human capital and others.
Museveni noted other development programs being supported by the US citing that through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Uganda is undertaking various developmental programs and improving sectors such as agriculture, health, education and others.
He also noted the partnership in the energy sector through programs such as “Power Africa” initiative for off-grid energy solutions which is envisaged to produce over 1,000 Mega Watts and lead to one million new connections by 2020, hence complementing the Country’s rural electrification drive.
“The US provides other programs under the USAID such as; food and nutrition, security and strengthening resilience in Karamoja sub-region; Combating HIV/AID through supporting campaigns for control and prevention; Improving education standards through support to human resource development and educational infrastructure; among others,” further reads Museveni’s speech.