The African Union summit has elected Uganda to the African Union Peace and Security Council for a term of three years. Uganda’s tenure starts April 2013 and expires March 2016.
Sam Kutesa, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, explains that the membership provides Uganda with an opportunity to play a constructive role at continental level. This is in conflict prevention, management and resolution especially regarding conflicts in the region.
He adds that Uganda being elected as a member of the AU peace and Security Council means that they can now help solve conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Southern Sudan and Sudan and state their position on Mali.
Uganda has previously struggled to pay its soldiers their due under the AU peace mission in Somalia. The new position places an additional responsibility on the country especially in terms of financial resources.
However, Minister Kutesa argues that the Ugandan forces operating in Somalia are under the Neutral African International Force which is to be funded by the United Nations.
The force according to the minister is to ensure that they deal with negative elements such as the Interahamwe in Rwanda, Allied Democratic Forces in Uganda and FNL in Burundi.
According to Kutesa, Uganda had a pan African duty to go to Somalia and have made it possible for other countries to do the same.
The AU summit was held on the 27-28 January 2013 preceded by other meetings of the AU policy organs at which a number of decision were made.
Kutesa also revealed that Uganda had been elected to the NEPAD heads of state and Government Orientation committee for a term of two years starting 2013 to 2014.
Meanwhile Uganda is competing to host the AU Centre for Post Conflict reconstruction and development. Consultations are ongoing and team of the AU arrives today to look at the facilities Uganda is offering to host the Centre in Jinja.
In addition the summit is consulting about Uganda’s candidature to the post of the United Nations General Assembly for the 69th session.
Kutesa argues that this will be Africa’s turn to provide a President and Uganda is competing with Cameron for the top job. Kutesa is also the candidate nominated to fill the position if the bid succeeds.