President Museveni and US Secretary of State Discuss Somalia
President Yoweri Museveni has held talks with USA Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The two leaders held the meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly New York yesterday.
The meeting centered on bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest.
President Museveni also attended a number of meetings on Somalia, Sudan and the mini summit of the UN Security Council.
On the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) on Sudan, President Museveni advised the two parties to ensure that it is fully implemented and the referendum held as scheduled. He said he was happy to hear re-assurances that the Sudanese roadmap towards the 2011 referendum on self-determination for Southern Sudan was on track and on schedule adding that "the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was negotiated over a long time under the Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and therefore no delays and variations must be entertained now.
The meeting organized by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon was attended by African Heads of State and Government, US President Barack Obama, the Chairman of the African Union Commission and other leaders.
President Museveni said that Sudan was an Afro-Arab country where African and Arab cultures meet but the problem over the years was that some groups were trying to run Sudan as an Arab country disregarding the Africans. He reminded the conference that under the Declaration of Principles (DOP) the Sudanese government rejected the option of creating a secular state and opted to allow self determination for Southern Sudan.
The President said that if the people vote for separation in the referendum, the question of natural resources must be handled carefully to avoid future problems.
President Barack Obama said that the Sudanese people need peace and the international community must commit themselves to support the people of Sudan achieve peace. He observed that although implementation of the CPA seems to be behind schedule, the referendum must take place.
He decried the situation in Darfur and said stakes there are enormous where some two million people have been killed and millions displaced and made homeless. He said the US will not abandon the people of Darfur in their quest to live in peace and called on the government of the Sudan to fulfill promises made to end the conflict there.
"No nation can impose progress and peace on another nation. This must be made by the people themselves and their leaders in fulfilling their obligations", he said, adding that, “the US will support the promotion of dignity and human rights in the whole of the Sudan”.
The Vice President of the Sudan Mr. Ali Uthman Taha representing President Omar el Bashir assured the summit that his country was committed to the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the holding of a peaceful referendum on self determination of Southern Sudan and the comprehensive resolution of the conflict in Darfur.
He called for the lifting of economic sanctions on Sudan and the urgent need to have his country struck off the list of countries that support terrorism so that the Sudanese people can live in their natural state and create a vibrant country that will be hospitable to all.
The First Vice President of Sudan and President of the Government of Southern Sudan Gen. Silver Kiir Mayardit said the CPA remains the cornerstone for peace in the Sudan and that they are committed to its full implementation. He said that although there are difficulties being encountered, the referendum will take place as scheduled for the people to determine their future and destiny.
"It is in our interest to see that the country remains a viable state just like the North must see the South as a viable state committed to sustainable peace and development. He told the summit that what the South has achieved in the last five years of transition is far greater than what was achieved in the last fifty years of Sudanese independence.
President Museveni was accompanied to the summit by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon.Sam Kutesa, Uganda's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda and the Minister of State for International Cooperation Hon.Okello Odyem.
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