Somalia needs more help, says VP Ssekandi

Saturday, November 23, 2013


Uganda’s vice president Edward Ssekandi has called on Arab and African leaders to support peace mission efforts in Somalia and the entire greater Horn of Africa.

During the wrap-up of the Third Africa-Arab Summit in the Arab state of Kuwait, the VP pushed for stabilization of the political, security and humanitarian situations in the region.

The two-day meeting, attended by 50 heads of state and delegations from Africa and the Arab world, ended with calls for stronger economic ties between the two regions.

Leaders committed to implementing peace and development initiatives in Africa and in Arab nations.


UGANDAN DELEGATION (L-R): Ambassador Rashid Ssemuddu, VP Edward Ssekandi, ministers Ruth Nankabirwa and Asuman Kiyingi after the summit. PHOTO/VPPU


They also resolved to strengthen the fight against terrorism by criminalizing ransom payments to terrorists and confronting transnational crime to realize peace and security in the regions.

VP Ssekandi, who led the Ugandan delegation, said his country attaches special interest to peace and security in the region and that Uganda has realized significant progress in Somalia.

He urged for more support from the UN Security Council to enhance efforts to help return stability in Somalia.

He also underlined the urgency to address threats of extremism and terrorism which he said are a threat to regional peace stability and economic advancement.

In order to strengthen the Africa-Arab partnership in conflict prevention and resolution, he pointed out, emphasis on regional initiatives and solutions to local and regional problems is crucial.

Such is an approach President Yoweri Museveni’s deputy thinks is instrumental in resolving some of the conflicts in the region.


In an announcement by the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Kuwait, in coordination with the World Bank, plans to invest $1 billion (over sh2.5 trillion) in African states.

Another $1 billion will be for soft loans for the next five years.

The Kuwait Declaration, a communique issued at the end of the summit, stressed the need to enhance and accelerate all forms of cooperation, especially in the economic and human resource fields, between Africa and Arab regions.

On his part, Ssekandi felt that foreign intervention in local and regional issues should be sought only as a secondary means since, he observed, such interventions have a history of complicating issues rather than contribute to sustainable solutions.

About 30 bilateral interactions took place on the sidelines of the summit, with Uganda, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Mauritania and Mozambique securing handsome investments by Saudi agencies amounting to a total of $136 million (about sh340 billion) for some key sectors.

The two day event under the theme:  Partners in Development and Investment was held at the Bayan Palace in Kuwait City, the state’s capital.

Uganda’s delegation included minister for foreign affairs Sam Kutesa, State minister for regional cooperation Asuman Kiyingi, State minister for fisheries Ruth Nankabirwa and officials from the Uganda mission in Saudi Arabia.