News / Africa

Spokesperson Defends Ugandan President's Role East African Community

Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, president of Uganda, speaks at the United Nations in New York on Sept. 24, 2013.Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, president of Uganda, speaks at the United Nations in New York on Sept. 24, 2013.
x
Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, president of Uganda, speaks at the United Nations in New York on Sept. 24, 2013.
Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, president of Uganda, speaks at the United Nations in New York on Sept. 24, 2013.
A spokesman for the Ugandan government says there would not be an organization called East African Community had it not been for the efforts of President Yoweri Museveni and two other east African leaders to revive the organization.

Spokesman Ofwono Opondo was responding to criticism by an official of the newly-formed Freedom and Unity Front (FUF) of Uganda that President Museveni was out to destroy the Community.

General David Sejusa told VOA earlier this week that Museveni attempted to isolate Tanzania and Burundi by not inviting their leaders to recent regional summits.

But Opondo says there are some issues within the community that are bilateral as well as tripartite and do not affect regional cooperation.

“First of all, we don’t know that organization – Unity and Freedom Front – we don’t know them and we have not seen their report. But there has not been an East African Community to speak about until President Museveni restarted it about 12 years ago together with President Daniel Arap Moi and Benjamin Nkapa. And so you cannot be the same person trying to destroy,” he said.

He dismissed criticism that President Museveni tried to isolate Tanzania and Burundi by not inviting their two leaders to recent East African Community summits.

“There regional issues that are bilateral to Uganda and Kenya; there are issues that are bilateral for Uganda and Rwanda, and there are issues that are tripartite for Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda. So, we don’t think that bilateral issues of Uganda and Kenya should in any way jeopardize the regional cooperation of the East African Community,” Opondo said.

The FUF describes itself as a “new liberation platform to unite different liberation forces, political organizations and individuals to free Uganda from Yoweri Museveni.”
One of its leaders is General David Sejusa, the former Coordinator of Uganda’s Intelligence Services.

Sejusa fled Uganda in April this year after writing a letter, alleging that there was a scheme to assassinate senior government and military officials perceived to be against an alleged plot to have Mr. Museveni’s son, Brigadier Muhoozi Kainerugaba succeed his father as President.

Opondo describes the group as “fictitious” and said the Ugandan government does not know of the group’s existence.

“I am hearing it from you for the first time. So it must be a fictitious organization. First of all, Sejusa is a renegade fugitive who has previously been a member of parliament of Uganda representing the army. He has run out of what to say, and I think this announcement of a fictitious organization that does not exist, at least not here in Uganda is an attempt to create a profile to you, the international media who may not have all the facts about Uganda back home here,” Opondo said.

Opondo also rejects the FUF’s criticism that President Museveni has been a sponsor of the M23 rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo and cannot be the one to mediate peace talks between the government and M23 rebels.

“President Museveni and Uganda was asked by a committee of African Union states in November of 2011 to be the mediator and we have been conducting that mediation for the past 11 months. It has never been raised by the DRC delegation the biasness of Uganda until when we hear accusations via the media,” Opondo said.

First founded in the mid-1960s, the East African Community collapsed in 1977 due to disagreements among its founding countries – Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania. It was revived in 2000 by leaders of the same three founding countries.
Butty interview with Opondo
Butty interview with Opondoi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Mugabe Dismisses Male-Female Equality

'It is not possible that women can be at par with men' incoming African Union president declares on eve of summit More

Somali Terror Suspect's Light Sentence Raises Questions

Abdullahi Yusuf, 18, could have spent 15 years in prison but judge instead sentenced him to a halfway house, and a program to try to integrate him back into the community More

Video Kobani Ravaged Following Kurdish Ouster of IS Militants

Even so, hundreds of refugees sheltering in Turkey seek to return; Kurdish forces hold some back, saying fighting continues More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid