10 July 2013 (JUBA) - Speaking at South Sudan’s independence celebrations on Tuesday Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni, warned Africans against tribalism and divisions stressing they allow foreign interferences.
- President of Uganda,Yoweri Museveni, left and President of South Sudan, Salva Kiiri Mayardit, are seen during the second independence anniversary of South Sudan in Juba, Tuesday, July 9, 2013. (Photo AP )
"Why do we weaken ourselves with divisions, tribalism so that a foreigner comes and divide us more?” Museveni asked.
The Uganda’s president said Africans lack organisation and have religious divisions which weaken them.
Since South Sudan’s independence the country has been blighted by fighting between ethnic groups, cattle raiding and rebellions. Jonglei state has been the worst affected with rebels there accusing of marginalising minority groups.
"Africans are leading foreigners into temptations by being weak. When you are weak, you invite foreigners to come and oppress you. Weakness should not be among us, we must cure internal weakness internally", Museveni told thousands of celebrants at the Dr. John Garang Mausoleum in Juba on Tuesday.
The Ugandan president called for unity and quoted an African proverb that “the teeth with a gap never grind the meat well”. Many in the crowd interpreted the choice of proverb as a reference to the current power struggle between South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir and his deputy Riek Machar who come from different ethnic groups.
Museveni, observing the infrastructural development in Juba since a peace deal in 2005, said that the country had been held back by decades of civil war.
Botswana’s president, Seretse Khama Ian Khama, urged South Sudanese to continue with the vision of the martyr and that the national reconciliation process should develop a mechanism to boost unity among the young nation.
Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, on his part, encouraged the creation of greater inter-Africa infrastructure and larger economic blocks and to promote social economic relationships.