President Museveni holds talks with Ethiopia Premier

Public Opinions International
Thursday 2nd March 2017

President Yoweri Museveni has held bilateral talks with the visiting Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, at State House, Entebbe. The Ethiopian leader arrived in Uganda today on a-three day State Visit at the invitation of President Museveni.

The President and his guest discussed a wide range of issues that included the River Nile basin and the utilization of its water among member countries through which the river traverses, the situation in South Sudan, Somalia and the promotion of trade between Uganda and Ethiopia.

“We propose to have a summit to discuss utilisation of the Nile. Ministries are the main forums for discussing the Nile matters. We are committed to supporting South Sudan gain stability. Efforts to bring South Sudan to normalcy should continue,” President Museveni said. He observed that elections in South Sudan will compel the people and leaders in that country to work for unity. He added that the electoral process would work as a good stimulus. He also empahsized that there was need to detribalize the South Sudan Army as part of promoting peace in that neighbouring country.

Regarding River Nile, Mr. Museveni said that a Summit on the river should be held for the benefit of the people.

On the situation in the Horn of Africa, President Museveni observed that Uganda, Ethiopia and other countries are in Somalia on the basis of the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) arrangement. He said that AMISOM can train the Somali National Army and that Somalia should be helped to open up some roads so that minimum economic activities can take place in that country. He noted that once this is achieved, Somalia would have capacity to generate taxes to fund the essential services.

President Museveni also said Somalia needs to build state pillars such as the Army and the Police adding that there was need to reconstruct the infrastructure and the social services sector as a whole so that the wananchi in that country would be enabled to turn away from Al Shabab.

President Museveni was happy to note that Somalia has succeeded by holding Presidential elections recently. He observed that this gives pride to the regional leaders. He revealed that Uganda went to Somalia to teach Al Shabaab group a lesson that the Somali mission by Uganda was also aimed at supporting Ethiopia.

President Museveni used the occasion of the visit of the Ethiopian Prime Minister to extend an invitation to Ethiopian investors to come to Uganda and tap into the abundant opportunities in the hotels, leather products and textiles industries. He proposed that the Trade Ministers of the two countries exchange import lists with the goal of identifying the products that may be traded between Uganda and Ethiopia.

He stressed that Uganda and Ethiopia should work towards the development of trade routes linking them. He suggested the use of the Karamoja – North Turkana route and that the 2 countries could also look into the development of the Northern Uganda – Juba – South Ethiopia route.  He observed that the Turkana valley could be used to develop a good road network and an inter-state electricity supply line.

The visiting Ethiopia Premier, Prime Hailemariam Desalegn, thanked President Museveni for the hospitality accorded to him and his delegation and also for inviting him to the beautiful Pearl of Africa nation. He concurred with President Museveni’s call for the promotion of trade between Uganda and Ethiopia. He expressed interest in importing oil from Uganda saying the arrangement would serve the South Ethiopian Region well.

Regarding regional developments, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said neighbouring South Sudan needs to constitute an Electoral Commission in order to enable the electoral process to take firm root in that country. He said that if this were operationalized, it go a long way in stopping tribalism, a challenge that he said has contributed to instability in South Sudan.

He commended President Museveni and Uganda for the outstanding contribution to AMISOM programmes.


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