KAMPALA: cPresident Museveni has said he will invite his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron to Uganda for a discussion on a series of things, among them the conflicts in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
“I’m going to write to H.E. Macron and invite him here to discuss African and world issues, including Europe,” he said, adding that “Europe has nothing to lose if they work well with Africa.”
The President made the revelation while meeting the outgoing French ambassador to Uganda, Mr. Jules-Armand Aniambossou, who called on him at State House Entebbe on Monday.
Mr. Aniambossou informed the President about his three-year diplomatic tour of duty to Uganda that has come to an end and lauded the cordial relations that exist between the two countries of Uganda and France.
“For the time I have spent here, I discovered Uganda is a very beautiful country. I consider myself somehow a Ugandan and will leave the country as an ambassador. We have done well in our bilateral relations,” he said.
Mr. Aniambossou is now on his way to Ghana, West Africa, to represent France.
At Monday’s meeting, he updated President Museveni about diplomatic efforts by Paris to bring peace in eastern Congo, which the French leader has separately discussed with Rwanda’s Paul Kagame and DRC President Félix Tshisekedi.
A lot of rebel and militia groups, such as the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), have caused sporadic fighting in the DRC. The UPDF and the Congolese army are working together to wipe out these rebels.
Mr. Aniambossou told Mr. Museveni that there can’t be lasting peace in the DRC without Uganda’s help. Uganda has a lot of experience resolving conflicts in the area.
“We know that we cannot find a sustainable solution without Uganda. We also need to get your advice about the Nairobi process,” he said, referring to an East African Community effort to end the conflict in Congo.
At this point in Monday’s meeting, President Museveni offered to talk about the sensitive issues with his French counterpart, whom he expects to visit Uganda in January.
“I would really like to sit down with Mr. Macron and talk strategically. Europe has nothing to lose if they work well with Africa,” he said.
President Museveni noted that the availability of borders has helped Africa to maintain peace between countries and if anyone wanted to alter them, they should do it peacefully. He asked the Western world to support the East African approach to solving conflicts.
“The East African approach is a good one because it brings in more eyes, more transparency and isolates the troublemakers.” H.E. Museveni said, adding that “When President Macron comes here, we shall discuss this further.”
President Museveni says that the problem in eastern Congo is that people don’t understand the connection between peace and making money.