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Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has said that as Africa celebrates the 10th anniversary of the setting up of its Peace and Security Council (PSC), there is need to re-illuminate on the fundamental question: “What causes conflicts in Africa and why are they conducted so brutally?”

During his speech at the on going African Union (AU) meeting in Equatorial Guinea, Museveni who is also the chairperson of peace and security council  said that in the last 50 plus years when he has  been watching these conflicts, he came up with  three conclusions.

“First, there is a failure to distinguish between just wars and unjust wars. Secondly, the unjust conflicts waged in Africa, which form the majority of the conflicts, are based on the pseudo-ideology of sectarianism based on ethnicity or religious divides and impregnated with gender chauvinism,” he said. “Thirdly, the majority of these conflicts are conducted by ideologically deficient groups that are very undisciplined. Hence, the committing of war-crimes ─ killings of non-combatants, killing of prisoners of war, raping of women, abductions of civilians, sex slaves, etc., etc.”

Museveni said that the  ideology of sectarianism is a pseudo─ideology that is always pushed by parasites at the expense of the real interests of the people. He added on that most fundamental interest of the people is security of the persons and their property.

He said that another important interest is prosperity in economic terms and welfare. “One crucial element in prosperity is trade- the exchange of goods and services.  Especially in the capitalist era, this exchange of goods and services has formed a  very vibrant dynamic,” he said.

He explained that even before the onset of colonialism, however, during the feudal era, the communities in Africa were engaged in trade, by the means of barter trade.  This exchange of goods and services was especially vibrant between different tribes, more than within individual tribes and therefore, it is false and inexcusable for anybody to push the agenda of sectarianism, especially by means of war.

“If a war is not a just one, it means that it is either a war of aggression or a criminal war.  The anti-colonial liberation wars were just wars.  What is the character of the present conflicts?” Museveni wondered.

He advised that the starting point in defeating insecurity in Africa, should start with banishing the ideology of sectarianism and gender chauvinism.

“This will act as the policeman of the mind. Where it fails, then we need the policeman of the body.”

Museveni said that  failure to build effective national armies is partly linked to  ideological mistakes. Some of the security forces are not based on merit or competence but are based on sectarian consideration.

He boasted that de-sectarianised national army has made big contribution to Uganda and the region.

He advised that where a national army fails to stop a conflict in a country,the region should come to the rescue. “Where the national army and security forces fail to guarantee peace, the region, supported by the international community, should come in,” he said.

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