KAMPALA-The United States has come out to clarify on why their delegation and that of the European Union walked out on President Museveni during the swearing-in ceremony.
Several diplomats representing the European Union and the United States walked out yesterday when President Yoweri Museveni at his inauguration of as President of Uganda for the next five years. Museveni has led Uganda since 1986.
President Museveni bashed the International Criminal Court (ICC) as a tool being used by western powers to target only African leaders.
“ICC, is none of our business; that is a useless body, initially we thought they were serious but they are a bunch of useless people” Mr Museveni said. The President’s bashing of the court was in reference to Sudan’s President Omar Bashir who had travelled amidst ICC indictment to attend the latter’s inauguration.
However, the United State’s Principal Deputy Secretary of State for African Affair, Bruce Wharton told the media that his country values the relations between the two countries but U.S can’t forgo rights and freedom in preference of anything.
“The United States values its relationship with Uganda and the Ugandan people. Our two countries cooperate closely on a number of important issues, and together we have accomplished a great deal in the areas of health, education, and security – areas that directly benefit the well-being of Ugandans across the country” Mr. Wharton said.
Adding “Now, as you have seen recently, we do have some differences with the government of Uganda. As a friend of the Ugandan people, we are concerned when we see freedoms being denied. And as friends will do, we feel an obligation to raise our concerns or objections about decisions that are taken that will have a negative effect on the trajectory of this country and the future of the Ugandan people. We care about what happens in Uganda, not because we are looking to get something out of it, but because we believe all citizens deserve to live in a country where their rights and freedoms are respected, so that they can decide for themselves their own futures”.
Mr Wharton said he came to represent his country the U.S government at Mr. Museveni’s swearing-in and that because of this friendship and the relationship America have built over many years with Ugandans.
“We wanted to acknowledge this important event in Uganda’s history, and affirm the broad partnership we have now with Uganda.” He said.