President Yoweri Museveni has said that former presidents should be engaged in coordinating efforts to end conflicts.
According to president Museveni, this should involve neutral and mutually agreeable former heads of states that would ensure proper follow up of resolutions.
“The problem is that coordination is not done. We are not following up properly. For armed conflicts, we should have former heads of state involved. In Burundi we survived because we had former President Julius Nyerere and President Mandela involved,” Museveni said August 16, while meeting the United Nations Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson at the Sheraton Addis Ababa.
The meeting was held on the sidelines of an IGAD led peace process on South Sudan that saw several heads of state including Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia, and Omar Al-Bashir of Sudan in intense closed door consultations to ensure a deal is reached before the IGAD set deadline today.
Museveni and Eliasson also discussed a range of issues particularly the security situation in Somalia, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The president also called for stronger coordination mechanisms at the highest international level possible in finding a solution to regional conflicts, and warned against sectarian tendencies, saying countries need prosperity and security first.
The Deputy Secretary General thanked President Museveni for his role in conflict resolution and pledged UN support in implementation.
“Implementation would be difficult but we shall help in any way possible. Your role in ensuring that these conflicts end honourably is crucial. All the permanent five security council members agree your role is very crucial in ending these conflicts,” he said.
Eliasson said they would push for a higher level of engagement as requested by Museveni to get the coordination the attention it deserves.
The Deputy Secretary-General is in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to represent the Secretary-General at the IGAD-PLUS Summit on the Situation in South Sudan. He was accompanied by the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Sudan, Haile Menkerios and the Special Representative of the Secretary General on South Sudan Ellen Loj. Uganda’s Ambassador to Ethiopia Mull Katende attended the meeting.