The Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda has called for joint efforts in resolving conflicts in East Africa, noting that they are the leading cause of refugee influx in the country.

The Premier made the remarks while meeting with the East African Legislative Assembly Members of the Committee on the Regional affairs and Conflict resolution at the Office of the Prime Minister in Kampala on Tuesday.

The Committee Members are on mission to visit refugee camps in Uganda.

The Prime Minister commended the East African Legislative Assembly Members of Parliament for the tremendous work they are undertaking to develop East Africa, asking them to commit and cooperate to solve conflicts, which contribute to the refugee influx in the Country.

“The issue of refugees is a problem we have had for many years, and its high time we as the East African people get solutions. There is need to get a diagnosis for this problem so that East Africa can be a better place for all of us. The phenomena of having refugees in East Africa running from one country to another needs to end” Rugunda said.

He also said the EALA members need to work towards actualizing the dream of the East African Community where the regional members can engage without barriers.

“The East African Parliament has a catalytic role to play in ensuring that the people of East Africa formalize their unity by enjoying a community without geographical boundaries,” the Premier said.

The Prime Minister asked the legislators to use EALA to generate developmental projects and sensitize the world about East Africa.

The Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Hilary Onek, called upon the Committee members to promote the ideology of Pan Africanism in discussing issues surrounding refugees.

He highlighted some of the key steps taken by the government of Uganda in receiving refugees including vaccination, settlement and socialization processes.

The Chair of the Committee on Regional Affairs and Conflict Resolution, Hon. Victor Burikukiye thanked the government of Uganda for its open door policy towards refugees, noting that Uganda has been an exemplary country in managing and protecting refugees.

The meeting was also attended by 2nd Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of East African Affairs, Kirunda Kivenjinja, Minister of State for Refugees, Musa Ecweru, Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Vincent Ssempijja and other government officials.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018