Saturday, May 13, 2006

Ugandan president calls for cooperation in Great Lakes

The newly sworn in Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has called for increased regional cooperation to ensure peace in the Great Lakes, AngolaPress reported 13 May 2006:

Museveni made the call shortly after he was sworn in for his third term in office at a colorful ceremony held at Kololo National Ceremonial Grounds in Kampala on Friday.

He said his country will continue to work with its neighbors to consolidate peace in the region.

The president appreciated the Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA) and the Sudan government for co-operating in the uprooting the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels from southern Sudan and northern Uganda.

The LRA rebels were using their bases in southern Sudan to launch attacks against Uganda but a combined operation between the SPLA and the Uganda People's Defense Force, forced them to flee to the jungles of Garamba National Park in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

"We hope the Congo government, the SPLA, the Sudan government, the UN forces in Congo and Sudan will work with us to capture the LRA remnants now hiding in Garamba National Park," said Museveni.

He said the Congo government and the UN must also resolve the issue of eastern Congo being a safe haven for terrorists and negative forces from the Great Lakes region.

"We are ready and able to help in that task," said Museveni, who also appealed to the African Union Peace and Security Council to get involved in the process.

"The region, working with Barundi Political Parties, successfully resolved the issues of Burundi that had been paraded as insoluble. Similarly, the problems of eastern Congo, Darfur and Somalia can be solved, primarily, by the respective African regional organizations," said Museveni.

The Great lakes region is characterized as Africa's most volatile area after millions of people have lost their lives and millions have been displaced from their homes by violent conflicts.

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