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Uganda:Eritrean president in Uganda pledges to support regional peace efforts

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Laaska News  August 17,2011
KAMPALA, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) — Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki has pledged to support efforts aimed at stabilizing the East African region that has faced decades of war, a State House statement issued here said on Wednesday.

Afwerki, whose three-day state visit to Uganda entered day two, on Wednesday thanked his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni for his efforts to search for peace and development in the region.

When we meet, we talk inspiring issues and I really feel at home. I also appreciate the contributions of President Museveni and I urge him to continue. I will support him in all his endeavors,” Afwerki said at a state banquet held late on Tuesday.

Museveni described Afwerki as a freedom fighter who left his degree course to fight for the freedom of his country at a tender age.

Museveni also described Eritrea’s ruling part as a serious political organization just like Uganda’s ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM).

When President Afwerki comes here, we hold long talks because the party he leads is a very serious organization like the NRM; and we hold serious talks not just diplomacy or champagne,” he said.

Afwerki’s visit to Uganda is seen as crucial to the peace and stability of the Eastern African region that has been plagued by war especially Somalia.

Eritrea is under UN sanctions for bankrolling a Somali militant group Al Shabaab which is seen as a regional security threat. Eritrea denies the charges.

Intergovernmental Authority on Development member countries have called for the tightening of the sanctions to compel Eritrea stop the alleged funding of the outfit that has started carrying out foreign attacks.

The group claimed responsibility of the July 2010 Kampala bombings that left about 80 people dead and scores of others injured.

It said the attack was in revenge of Uganda’s deployment of peacekeeping troops in the Somali capital Mogadishu.

During Afwerki’s visit the two leaders are expected to discuss the Somalia crisis extensively.

Laaska News.