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Lack of ideology caused South Sudan’s conflict, says Museveni

September 19, 2017 (JUBA) – Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has attributed the civil war in South Sudan to “lack of ideology”.

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Ugandan leader Yoweri Museveni speaks at the national dialogue launch in South Sudan, May 22, 2017 (PPU photo)

Museveni, The New Vision reported, blamed South Sudanese politicians for pushing forward identity politics while forgetting the interests of the people and that he was working to unite the different factions of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).

“Identity is important but it should not be promoted at the expense of the common interests of the people. Even Uganda was a failed state but was rescued by a student movement that taught people to forget about identity politics,” he said.

Museveni, in New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly, held a meeting on Monday with the United States ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley whom he briefed about the security situation in South Sudan, Burundi and Somalia.

During the meeting, however, the Ugandan leader reportedly stressed the need to unite the various SPLM factions and that he was mediating the talks aimed at uniting the SPLM as the Ethiopian Prime Minister works on the process seeking to unite other political parties.

An average of over 1,800 South Sudanese, the UN refugee agency says, fled to Uganda daily in the past year. The influx has become the fastest growing refugee crisis in the world, with 85% of the refugees in Uganda said to be women and children below 18.

In addition to the million refugees now hosted by Uganda, more than million other South Sudanese refugees are in Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Democratic Republic of the Congo and other countries.

Meanwhile, the US ambassador to the UN reportedly commended Museveni and his administration for hosting the more than one million South Sudanese refugees and supporting reform efforts in Somalia.

“Uganda has been a good example on what it means to take in refugees. US offers its support as you continue to do that,” said Haley.

Uganda’s representative to the UN, Adonia Ayebare, foreign affairs minister Sam Kuteesa, the state minister for international affairs, Henry Okello Oryem and the Uganda ambassador to the US, Mull Katende attended Monday’s meeting.

South Sudan’s civil war is a conflict in South Sudan between government troops and the armed opposition forces. In December 2013, President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar and 10 others of attempting a coup d’état. The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions.