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Museveni makes case for refugees at UN

President Museveni has called on world leaders to respect the rights of refugees in their countries.

Speaking at the world leaders’ summit on Refugees in New York during the ongoing United Nations General Assembly, the president said that it is wrong to treat African refugees as if they are seeking to consume resources of the indigenous people.
 
“I tell Ugandans that these (refugees) are our unfortunate brothers and sisters having a misfortune, for the moment, being misgoverned or being unprotected against demonic rebels,” he said.
 
The president added that while in exile, both out of humanness and far-sight, the refugees need to be treated well and that those with skills should be allowed to find gainful employment.
 
Uganda currently has a refugee population of 690,000 coming from the countries such as Burundi, DR Congo, South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya and Rwanda among others. The president predicts the numbers to increase further to 810,000 by the end of this year.
 
Museveni asked world leaders to stop supporting armed conflicts especially on the African continent which result in an influx of refugees arguing that sponsoring such groups by external forces prevents peace building.
 
“If a conflict is really justified, in order to fight for justice with war being the only means of resistance and national salvation, the people can successfully wage a people’s struggle without external sponsorship,” said Museveni. He added that conflict situations are being propelled by puppets looking for external sponsors and by chauvinists looking for puppets.
 
He cited what he called sectarian persecution occasioned by the “ideologically bankrupt” groups who rely on undisciplined and criminal armies or militias” as one of the main causes of the refugee problem in Africa. 
 
The president called on refugee hosting countries to ensure that refugees are given the necessary assistance to avoid degrading the environment. He also called on humanitarian organisations to empower refugees through educating the children, imparting skills in order for them to be more advantaged when they return to their countries.

Read full speech here

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