Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda has reiterated Uganda’s commitment towards responding to the persistent crises including terrorism on the African continent. He said that Uganda has previously volunteered peacekeepers to restore stability in different parts of Africa and it isn’t going to cease despite losing some of its soldiers in the process.
The Prime Minister was addressing the closing session of the 3rd ACIRC (African Capacity for Immediate Response Committee) Ministerial meeting that has been taking place in Kampala over the last two days.
“I would like to assure our people and the continent that our gallant soldiers did not die in vain. We continue to reaffirm our commitment to advancing the aspirations of the African Capacity for Immediate Response to a stable and peace ful Africa,” Rugunda said.
The Prime Minister cited the recent barbaric attacks on AMISOM peacekeepers in Somalia that claimed the lives of Ugandan troops.
He called on the ACIRC volunteering nations to review the political and cultural dynamics that are responsible for various forms of conflict and wars. He proposed early warning systems as part of strategies to curb the emerging conflict situations and scenarios.
Rugunda thanked volunteer member countries of ACIRC for actualizing the vision of African Leaders for swift response to crises on the African continent.
The African Union (AU) Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui on his part emphasized the need to deal with security threats such as violent conflicts, drought, terrorism and forced displacement which he said continue to derail Africa.
“More recently we witnessed terrorist attacks in Burkina Faso which claimed the lives of 19 people, while over 400 people lost their lives in the mudslides in Sierra Leone. Addressing these crises and disasters is a critical priority for the AU states. On its part the AU remains steadfast in implementing programmes,” Ambassador Chegui explained.
Commissioner Chergui hailed President Yoweri Museveni contribution to peace and stability in Africa.
He stressed the need for African countries to find lasting solutions to the challenges faced by the continent using internally generated resources other than seeking help from Europe and the United States.
“We would like to send a message that Africa is determined to find internal solutions to its problems and reduce dependency on international support,” Ambassador Chergui said at the meeting which was themed ‘African Solutions to Africa’s Problems.’
The three – day Ministerial meeting of ACIRC volunteering nations came to an end with participants resolving that volunteering nations second officers to the AU Continental Early warning System and that a budetary meeting be convened by mid October.
It was also agreed that the 2018/2023 Framework Nation Standby Roster be adopted.
The next ACIRC meeting is scheduled to be held in Chad and will bring together heads of states of the volunteering nations.
The State Minister for Defence Charles Engola, Chief Of Defence Forces (CDF) Gen David Muhozi and the UPDF Joint Chief Of Staff Maj Gen Joseph Musanyufu, UPDF Spokesperson Brig Richard Kalemire were among those who attended the closing session on Tuesday.