Tuesday, 14 January 2014

The South Sudan conflict and its implications to the Ugandan economy. What should be done to solve the conflict?

On 11th January 2014, panelists appeared on HITS FM to discuss the Sudan conflict and its implications to the Ugandan economy. This was during the ‘Orukurato Program’ a 2hour weekly radio program that discusses issues of accountability every Saturday (08:00 – 10:00pm) that is sponsored by ToroDev. “As Ugandans, we have to understand our country’s foreign policies of promoting and protecting national interest abroad and deepening foreign integration”, said Godfrey Nyakana, the Chairperson of National Resistance Movement in Kabarole District.

Mr. Nyakana went ahead to indicate the advantages that Uganda has achieved from such policies. “These policies have helped Uganda to maintain her geo politics through emphasizing that also neighboring countries keep peaceful and her foreign trade is protected which has increased her economy and employment”.

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir
The live radio discussion was also attended by Bamanyisa Patrick, a journalist in Fort Portal town, Kabarole District who gave the back ground of the Sudan conflict. “Sudan was two separate countries before colonialism; South Sudan and Northern Sudan and was united into one country during colonialism. Sudan conflict started in the 1970’s among the different ethical groups but was later resolved in Adis Ababa. Sudan has different challenges such as ethical-religious differences and marginalization of different ethical groups that are sparking off such conflicts. In Africa, if we do not learn proper allocation of services among different ethical groups, such uprisings will always occur”.

Meanwhile, Mr. Nyakana indicated the reasons as to why the Ugandan army is in Sudan. “The reason as to why the Ugandan army is in Southern Sudan is to protect security and economic interest”.

Local listeners also participated in the live radio discussion through call ins to raise their issues and concerns. “When the Ugandan army went to Congo for a peace mission, members of the army stole timber and Congo demanded Uganda to pay back. Is it the local citizens or the army that will pay back?”, asked Baluku Steven in Kasese District, “Is the UPDF(Uganda People's Defense Forces) fighting in Congo or protecting citizens?”, asked Kasaija from Kicwamba Sub County in Kabarole District,  “Uganda has a right to rescue Congo because of the foreighn friendship”, said Muhumuza from Kiko, “Ugandans are not sensitized about the Congo issue”, said Adruf from Mukiboota in Bunyangabu County, Kabarole District.

The live radio discussion was moderated by Mr. Kasigazi Willy Donanto.

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